Post-Rehab Survival Guide: What You Should Do When He or She Finally Comes Home


It’s quite a relief when a loved one has successfully finished his or her rehabilitation program and survived other challenges and difficulties. There is a certain joy that everyone in the family may feel especially now that he or she has overcome what seems to you like a lifetime battling addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Yes, you’ve witnessed as his or her quality of life has diminished over time due to drinking and drugging: lost jobs, failed relationships, financial struggles. And now that he or she is about to start all over again and continually get back on track, you likewise want to be there beside him or her.

This is a common scenario in every household that was tested by this addiction. It feels as if you spent years of your life consumed with your family member: his or her drug use, drinking habits, countless lies, compulsive spending. You’ve begged and argued, cried and yelled. Your heart has broken from betrayal, you’ve kept the secrets, lied for them, harbored shame, and felt utterly lost.

You’ve seen, felt, heard, smelt, and lived with the addiction. At times, you even felt hopeless and helpless. But when your loved one finally sought for help and agreed to be sent to a rehab facility, you suddenly became hopeful and optimistic of bringing things back to normal.

More so, now that he or she was able to make it to recovery, learned the skills to stay healthy and sober, and has gotten himself or herself ready to live life anew, you seem to be the happiest.

What To Do When Your Loved One Finally Comes Home?

However, bear in mind that you ought to do something that will not only improve his or her condition but most importantly will not cause stress by all means.

The day has finally come that’s you’ll be welcoming home your loved one from his or her residential recovery program. You’re relieved and overwhelmed to see him or her looking great and even healthier than you’ve remembered him or her in a long time.

But you? You’re not sure where to start. You’ve been down this road. You’ve trusted – only to have been betrayed, been hopeful – only to be let down. So what do you do when your loved one comes home from treatment?

Educate Yourself

Take the time to learn about drug and alcohol addiction through research and reading. Becoming more educated on the topic of addiction will allow you to better understand what your addicted one is feeling – and what he or she has gone through in active addiction – and what to expect in early recovery.


Honesty is crucial – even if it’s difficult or negative. Opening up the conversation is better than saying nothing at all. 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.


It’s always important to connect with others and express yourself – but when it comes to families healing from addiction, it’s crucial. Find a local support group for families, friends or spouses of addiction where you’re able to open up about what you’re feeling and thinking when your loved one comes home from rehab.

Listen to the stories and feelings from others in the group. You’ll realize that you can connect and relate to so many others who have been or are in similar situations.

Be Patient

Recovery is a process – not a one-time deal. Even though your loved one spent 30, 60, 90 days in inpatient drug rehab, healing still takes time. Your loved one isn’t going to show up at your front door with every problem solved our every wound mended. The family needs to understand that they need to exercise patience in both themselves and their loved one.

Show Love and Compassion

With your loved one entering onto the path of recovery, it’s likely that he will lose some of the “friends” he used to party with, or she may feel overwhelmed or alone at times. Take an active role in your loved one’s life by showing him or her that care. Need some ideas? Take up a hobby together like cooking classes or spin classes – even hanging out once in a while – a lunch or dinner perhaps.

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