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11 Ways to Help Your Loved One Return Home from Addiction Treatment

11 Ways to Help Your Loved One Return Home from Addiction Treatment, Support your loved one's recovery journey

Recovery from drug or alcohol addiction is an ongoing process that continues even after the person leaves the addiction treatment center. If you have a loved one returning home from treatment, you have a critical role in supporting their recovery. While you cannot control your loved one’s choices, you can take some steps to help them maintain their newfound sobriety. Understanding, patience, empathy, and love can go a long way. And although it might sometimes feel overwhelming, your consistent support will significantly contribute to their recovery.

11 Ways to Help Your Loved One Return Home from Addiction Treatment

Here are 11 ways to help your loved one when they return home from an addiction treatment facility.

  1. Educate Yourself:  Understanding the complex nature of addiction and the recovery process will enable you to better support your loved one’s recovery journey. Learn about the substances your loved one was addicted to and how they impact the body and mind. Learning to recognize potential triggers and becoming aware of relapse signs will help you anticipate problems and act before relapse occurs.
  2. Maintain a Substance-Free Environment: Conduct a thorough sweep of the home, eliminating any remnants of the individual’s substance-using past. Be meticulous and dispose of any drugs, alcohol, drug paraphernalia, or other addictive substances in your home. By creating a clean, secure environment, you are minimizing triggers that could potentially provoke a relapse.
  3. Establish a Serene Environment at Home: Creating this environment involves cultivating a peaceful, stress-free ambiance. It could involve simple changes like rearranging furniture, letting in natural light, or incorporating calming elements like indoor plants or soothing music. Remember, your home should be a sanctuary, a place where your loved one can heal, grow, and strengthen their resolve to stay sober.
  4. Foster Open Communication: Your loved one needs a supportive and understanding ear more than ever before. Focus on establishing an emotionally supportive environment. Encourage open conversations, avoid judgment, and practice patience. Strive to foster a space where your loved one feels comfortable expressing their feelings, fears, hopes, or any struggles they might be facing without fear of criticism or dismissal. Communicate with them often.
  5. Support a Healthy LifestyleA balanced diet, regular exercise, good sleep patterns, and stress management techniques are crucial for someone who is in recovery. You can play a big part by helping to plan nutritious meals, joining them in exercise activities, or just ensuring they have space and time to practice stress management activities like meditation or yoga.
  6. Encourage Hobbies or Leisure Activities: Helping your loved one find new leisure activities or rediscover past ones they enjoy provides them with a sense of purpose and happiness. Whether it is painting, gardening, playing a musical instrument, or reading, these hobbies can offer a healthy distraction, stimulate creativity, and serve as a constructive use of free time.
  7. Encourage Your Loved One to Attend Follow-up Sessions and Support Groups: Continuing care is crucial for lasting sobriety. Your loved one should regularly visit a counselor and/or attend a local support group to strengthen their recovery process. Support groups serve as safe spaces where individuals can connect with others who are navigating similar challenges. Sharing their journey, listening to others, and receiving validation for their experiences can provide an immense sense of comfort–and also teach your loved one new coping skills.
  8. Help them Create a Daily Routine: Developing a routine helps the recovering person regain a sense of normalcy, builds discipline, and can limit periods of idle time where they might feel tempted to use again.
  9. Be Patient and Practice Empathy: The path to recovery can be long and challenging, filled with ups and downs. Patience and empathy will remind your loved one that they are not alone in this journey.
  10. Be Prepared for Possible Relapse: Relapse can be a part of the recovery process. Be aware of the warning signs, and have a plan in case a relapse does occur. It could mean reaching out to their counselor, an addiction hotline, or even bringing them back to a treatment center if necessary.
  11. Promote Responsibility and Independence: Learning self-sufficiency is an integral part of the recovery journey. Allow your loved one to engage in everyday tasks, from simple household chores to more complex responsibilities. This involvement in the rhythm of daily life paves the way for their independence and rekindles their self-confidence. Taking on responsibilities serves as a powerful affirmation of their capability, even in areas beyond their recovery process. 

Is Addiction Controlling Your Life?

If you or someone you care about struggles with addiction to alcohol or drugs, now is the time to get help. A treatable, chronic brain disease, addiction can affect anyone. At Anabranch Recovery Center in Terre Haute, Indiana, our skilled professionals will help you reclaim your life by providing the tools you need to live a sober life. Take the first step on the path to recovery. Contact us today.

About the author

Terry Hurley is a retired educational professional and freelance writer with more than fifty years of experience. A former reading specialist and learning center director, Terry loved her years working with children in the educational field. She has written extensively for print and online publications specializing in education and health issues. For the last six years, her writing focus has been on addiction and mental health issues.

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