A loved one coming home after completing a residential treatment program or moving out of a sober living facility is a testament to one’s dedication and success in their sobriety. However, it can also be a very vulnerable time as an individual may be exposed to new stressors outside of a recovery-curated environment.
Learning how to support a loved one coming home from treatment can make a massive difference in their ability to maintain their sobriety and employ self-care practices, coping mechanisms, and pursue a new sober identity. However, learning how to provide the right kinds of support requires dedication from supports and an openness to tackle these changes together.
Be Ready to Embrace Change
Being an effective support to new alumni making their transition into the “real world” means understanding the overhaul of changes they have experienced during their journey. Addiction recovery involves adopting a new outlook on the world, their lives, priorities, and the development of new interests in their sobriety. These changes can permeate one’s new identity. The successful implementation of these changes and applicable life skills are crucial in establishing one’s sober lifestyle.
However, this means that an individual may express a number of new traits or behaviors, and it is important to be open and receptive to these changes. Some old hobbies or activities may need to be altered to accommodate one’s new lifestyle.
Elements of one’s environment such as decor or leisure activity spaces may need to be repurposed to avoid connotations to a previous lifestyle. The elimination of addictive substances from one’s home is crucial as well. Being open to change and the effects of these changes is paramount in creating a supportive environment best equipped to maintain a loved one’s hard-earned sobriety.
Educate Yourself Beforehand
Education is a major part of addiction recovery. Researching the physiological effects of addiction and understanding the unique terminology used is paramount to communicate with a loved one coming home from their own recovery program. Not only can this provide a very clear means of dialogue in shared understanding, but it can also help an individual set appropriate expectations for this transitional time.
Establish Ground Rules and Communication Strategies
The first few days after a loved one comes home can be the most difficult. Taking time to set informed ground rules when making this transition can help start this phase of one’s recovery from a place of understanding. However, effective methods of communication are necessary throughout this time. Establishing communication strategies and setting up daily or weekly meeting times, such as around dinner, can help to keep the communication going.
Many parts of addiction recovery require an open and honest dialogue. There needs to be clear guidelines and repercussions during this time. There also should be a way for an individual in recovery to discuss their own perspectives and be an involved member of their living community. Holding on to past feelings surrounding one’s recovery can cloud and distort a loved one’s progress. Having these open dialogues is necessary to maintain a unified front and allow those in recovery to express the changes they have made in order to be judged fairly on their current success.
Support Ongoing Treatment
Ongoing treatment is essential, and finding an appropriate outpatient program can be crucial for one’s transition out of a recovery facility. Supporting ongoing treatment may mean researching local programs that can provide a quality outpatient service or helping to support one’s transportation to and from the facility. Finding transportation from bus routes, or other means for helping an individual continue to prioritize and develop their own recovery strategies is an essential avenue of support.
Encourage New Hobbies and Interests
Lifestyle changes and new hobbies are a major part of one’s new sober identity. Encouraging an individual to continue pursuing these interests while still searching for new outlets can be incredibly impactful. For some, this can mean helping provide paints or pencils for art therapy, or simply providing a studio space where they can safely engage in the practice.
For others, this can look like researching local recreational sports leagues or classes, finding local hiking trails, or being willing to invite a pet into one’s home for therapeutic purposes. Others may even begin to take up new hobbies themselves to provide a common ground for therapeutic outlets. Being open to the various forms that therapy can take and understanding the impact it has is essential for creating a supportive atmosphere while taking this next step in one’s journey together.
Preparing for a loved one to come home after the conclusion of a treatment program can be met with a number of mixed emotions. The transition out of a recovery facility can be a trying time, and we at Everlast Recovery Centers are ready to help you prepare for and adapt to this time of change. We champion the ability for each individual to continue to maintain their sobriety and will work with you to continue developing coping strategies and communication techniques each step of the way. Our trained professionals can aid you in your unique situation through our family programs. Your time with us can be catered to your own needs and goals, and we are ready to support you each step of the way. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (866) 338-6925.