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Helping Your Loved One When They Get Out of Rehab

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There’s no doubt that it can be an awkward and even a stressful time when someone you love first gets out of rehab. If they were never open about their addiction before they left, you might be walking on eggshells. It’s common to feel this way, since it’s like having a completely new person in the house. With that, you want to make sure you support their recovery and allow them to do it in their own way and on their own time.


Some facilities like Nexus, a drug rehab in Los Angeles, offer an aftercare program where the recovering addict has the option of utilizing a sober mentor who can help them maintain accountability and get support from someone who truly understands. The mentor might have responsibilities including assessing the recovering addicts mood, behavior, and relationships with family and friends. They’ll make sure the recovering addict is choosing healthy lifestyle options, attending their weekly meetings or therapy sessions, and might even serve as a companion on trips where the odds of relapsing are heightened.


For facilities that don’t offer an aftercare package, it may feel like more of a burden falls on the family. While you want to do everything you can to ensure that your loved one recovers to the best of his or her ability, it’s not something you’re trained to handle. Emotions are also running wild when the addict is someone you love. Michael’s House, an addiction recovery facility has outlined 10 things you should avoid doing when your loved one comes home from rehab.


  1. Don’t nag
  2. Don’t force him or her to deal with old issues
  3. Don’t remind him or her of how his addiction hurt family members or friends
  4. Don’t try to make choices for him or her
  5. Don’t remove the consequences from his or her actions
  6. Don’t take on the responsibility for saving him or her
  7. Don’t refuse to believe that he or she can tell the truth
  8. Don’t avoid giving him or her positive reinforcement, support, or encouragement
  9. Don’t go with him or her every time he or she leaves the house
  • Don’t check his or her phone


Parents can especially fall into these traps. While they mean well, they can be more harmful than anything. It’s important to let the recovering addict attempt to live his or her life that they had before they started drugs. They can still take on responsibility, should be given some trust, and need to be held accountable for their actions. What they’re going through isn’t easy and so they will need continuing support, but if a parent baby’s their child who is recovering, they won’t re-learn responsibility and you become an enabler.


Even recovering addicts has a right to privacy and so you can’t be checking in 24/7. You need to trust that they want to live a fulfilling life and will make the right choices. Continually telling him or her how damaging their choices have been in the past could be taken very negatively and could lead to triggers. The fact that they went to rehab and are now trying to re-start their life should be enough to leave the past behind. They have not forgotten what they’ve done, and if they’ve shown remorse, it’s time to put that pain to rest. Reminding someone of how terrible they used to be, can only put thoughts in their head that lead to more pain and suffering.


The recovering addict needs to learn how to be independent again, but this time in a way that is healthy for themselves and those around them. If you do everything for them, they will never be equip for the real world. Overall, you need to treat this person as you would treat anyone else, except for with a little more caution and a lot more support. Trust this person that you know and love, but be on the look out for signs that they need your help.

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