5 Ways You Can Support a Loved One During Drug Rehab

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Choosing to attend professional addiction treatment is one of the best decisions an individual can make for themselves. This choice is also beneficial for their loved ones.

If your loved one is attending addiction treatment, you know what it’s like to worry and hope that they seek help. When your loved one entered drug rehab, you probably felt relieved. The weight of worrying about their safety and livelihood was most likely lifted when they decided to get help.

However, your loved one entering treatment may have raised different concerns. It is common for family members of individuals attending addiction treatment to be unsure of how to support them.

If you find yourself questioning what you can do for them, here are the top 5 ways to support a loved one during drug rehab.

1. Educate Yourself on Addiction

First and foremost, you must educate yourself on the disease of addiction to properly support your loved one’s recovery process. Addiction can be difficult to understand, especially when you witness your loved one experiencing the negative effects of addiction but continuing to abuse substances.

You must begin to understand the temptations, cravings, triggers, and other factors that play a role in the cycle of addiction. For example, an individual who suffers from addiction will experience alterations in their brain chemistry. This is what causes your loved one to struggle with sobriety in such a severe way.

Once you are educated on the causes and effects of addiction, you can begin to understand how to support your loved one’s recovery journey.

2. Set Realistic Expectations

If you believe that drug addiction treatment is a quick and easy cure for addiction, you will need to adjust your expectations.

Drug addiction is a chronic and progressive disease. Like any other chronic condition, recovery from addiction takes time. Some individuals may experience a relapse or two before they learn to sustain permanent sobriety.

Because addiction is a condition where setbacks are likely to occur, you must set realistic expectations. The best thing you can do is offer your love and support to your loved one, no matter the outcome of their treatment program.

3. Be Willing to Actively Participate in Their Recovery

During your loved one’s treatment program, they will learn a lot of information about addiction, themselves, and how to deconstruct the addictive behaviors they have developed.

Sometimes, addiction treatment programs recommended their patients participate in family therapy or an educational workshop. If your loved one is asked to do this, you need to be willing to participate. This is one of the best ways to support your loved one during rehab.

Family workshops benefit your loved one’s recovery process by:

  • Educating you on addiction and family dynamics
  • Identifying your family’s enabling behaviors to help you support your loved one
  • Build solid communication skills between your family and your loved one
  • Allowing your family to explain how substance abuse has affected them to help your family and addicted loved ones heal together

Participating in family workshops allows you to be an active part of your loved one’s recovery. This helps your loved one feel loved, supported, and less alone while allowing your family to heal as well.

4. Practice Self-Care

Addiction is referred to as a family disease, as the addicted individual’s behavior tends to affect your entire family. Supporting your loved one’s recovery process is impossible unless you are taking care of yourself as well.

Another great way to support your loved one during drug rehab is to practice self-care. This could mean eating healthily, exercising to reduce stress, getting a good night’s sleep, and even attending support groups.

Support groups for the loved ones of addicts will help you better understand your loved one’s addiction. Additionally, they provide you with a safe space to vent about the hardships you have faced as a result of your loved one’s addiction.

5. Offer Your Support

Offering your general support to your loved one is extremely important. You could offer your support in numerous ways.

One way to support your recovering loved one is to ensure that they will be returning to a substance-free environment. When they complete treatment, their emotions may be extremely raw. Returning home and seeing alcohol or recreational drugs around the house would likely trigger them, making them feel vulnerable in their own home.

Additionally, you could always offer to attend support groups with them once a week. Some addiction support groups are open meetings, meaning they allow the friends and family members of addicts to attend. This shows your recovering loved one that you are dedicated to supporting them throughout their recovery process- even after they complete treatment.

Lastly, it is important to let them know that you are there for them no matter what. They may experience a slip-up, but that is okay. Let them know that you will be there to help them get back on track whenever they are ready.

Find Addiction Treatment For Yourself or a Loved One Today

If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse, it is important to remember that there are programs ready to help you. Addiction treatment facilities offer evidence-based substance abuse recovery methodologies and individualized treatment plans, providing every patient with the tools they need to succeed.

New Jersey Interventions can help you find an addiction treatment program suited to you or your loved one’s needs. Contact us today for more information on how to get connected with a drug rehab program near you.

Medically Reviewed: March 11, 2022

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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