The Do’s and Don’ts That You Should Know Whenever You Visit Someone in a Rehab


Drug addiction is considered as a disease that affects the entire family. When one member of a family suffers, oftentimes the entire family suffers. In some instances, loved ones who struggle with addiction may begin to engage in covert or otherwise questionable behaviors in order to continue their drug or alcohol abuse.

Statistics show that the individuals who suffer from addiction are more likely to struggle from behavioral problems and potential genetic predispositions that render them more vulnerable to developing addictions as well.

Over time, the destructive influence of drug use within a family can cause family members to feel helpless. The truth is, however, that families are not helpless when it comes to protecting themselves and their loved one who is struggling with addiction.

This is where seeking professional help or sending him or her to a rehabilitation facility plays a very important role. However, when we get to visit a loved one in a rehab center, here are few things that you should keep in mind:

Here are the DO’S:

Do visit – Even if it is only for an hour or only a phone call, the addict needs to know you care about them and their recovery.

Do arrive on time- The rehab is run on a tight schedule. Routine is a part of the recovery process. Please arrive on time in order to keep the routine of the clients consistent.

Do praise your family members courage to go to rehab – The addict needs all of the encouragement and support they can get.

Do discuss the weather and the news – Stick with the motto, “Small talk is the best talk.” More likely than not, healing is needed in the addicts family. Save feelings of hurt and disappointment for a time when a therapist is present, not during the 1 hour you have to visit.

Do make a point to meet the staff – The staff has been working with your loved one, every day for the past few months. Make a point to meet them and ask the questions about progress and potential discharge date.

Now, here are the DON’TS:

Don’t bring up family drama – Detoxing, eating meals and trying to shake off cravings are stressful enough, the added anxiety of the details of family feuding are not helpful to the recovery process.

Don’t mention money –  It is pretty common knowledge that rehab is expensive. Reminding the client how much you are paying for their recovery evokes shame in the client that can illicit thoughts of being a failure which often trigger a relapse.

Don’t mention weight gain  – Weight gain is common in recovery. Mentioning it will only embarrass the addict, which will most likely lead to passive aggressive behavior and will ruin your visit.

Don’t make sarcastic remarks- Though it is glamorized on TV, rehab is not a glamorous place to be. Clients often feel controlled. Making sarcastic remarks about the facility or the addicts stay will also cause shame and embarrassment that is not helpful to recovery.

Don’t discuss the future – We work very hard to keep the client “in the moment”. Talk about the weather, the news, but avoid topics of where they will move post-recovery, the job they’ll have, the pieces they need to pick-up. When the time comes they will work on that, but at this time the focus is recovery and not using drugs and alcohol.

What Is the Family’s Role in Rehab?

Families can play a superior role addiction rehabilitation by providing the loved one with a supportive and safe harbor.

There are two major types of rehab structures for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. Family support for the recovering individual may look a bit different, depending on the type of rehab structure chosen.

These two main rehab structures include:

Outpatient Rehab

Patients in outpatient rehab undergo addiction treatment while living at home. They make regular visits to a rehab program facility for some combination of both therapy and pharmacological treatment.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab programs are residential treatment facilities where patients stay overnight for 24/7 monitoring by staff personnel. Inpatient programs may either occur in hospital settings or in non-hospital settings. Hospital settings offer around-the-clock access to healthcare professionals and medical resources. While non-hospital settings often offer intermittent monitoring from visiting healthcare professionals. Inpatient rehab is better for those with severe or long-standing addictions, and better for those who also struggle with coexisting medical or mental health conditions.

Besides the more common, standard rehab facilities that tend to offer either inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment, there are also upscale luxury and executive rehab facilities to choose from.

Upscale rehab facilities do tend to cost more than standard rehab facilities. These rehabs offer 24/7 residential addiction treatment with the added benefit of high-end, resort-like amenities designed to maximize comfort for the recovering individual.

Executive programs additionally offer special resources and program structures that let busy working professionals maintain an active involvement at their workplace throughout recovery.

Remember that no matter how bad things may have become, you and your family still have the potential for a bright future full of possibilities.

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