The early stages of recovery can be both exciting and overwhelming for a newly sober person. While they may be free from drugs and alcohol for the first time in years, they’re also trading a highly structured post rehab setting for a world where they must once again be responsible for their choices.
When you look at it that way, it’s no surprise to learn that most relapses take place only weeks after leaving rehab.
Helping Your Loved One Adjust
Before your loved one leaves rehab, he will sit down with counselors and develop a detailed aftercare plan. This will make his transition back into the “real” world much easier.
And he’s not the only one who can benefit from having a plan in place. As a family, there are several things that you can do to help make this recovery process smooth and successful. Without some kind of game plan, family members can quickly feel like they’re walking on egg shells 24/7.
While it’s certainly helpful to establish a “to-do” list, it’s equally important for the family to understand that certain actions or conversations would be harmful to a loved one’s new sobriety.
Let’s take a look at 11 things family members should avoid doing once a loved one returns home from drug rehab.
- Be Afraid To CommunicateHonesty is essential, even if it’s negative. Telling him “I don’t know what to do” or “I don’t understand” is actually better than saying nothing at all. Give it time; things will get better and the conversations will come.
- Prevent Him From Making (and Learning from) MistakesWhen someone in recovery has a “bottom” moment, they ultimately gain enormous strength in overcoming it. Continuing to come in and save him before this can happen ultimately does nothing but enable him and creates an expectation that someone will always take care of his problems.
- Be Afraid of Sparking a RelapseDespite the myths, nothing you do or say you can cause him to relapse; you simply don’t have that much power. If your loved one relapses, it’s not your fault. You didn’t force him to do anything. Be honest about your feelings, without the fear of the consequences.
Read more about post rehab things to avoid at recovery.org