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How do I support someone I love when they return from rehab?

19 Answers
Last Updated: 09/04/2017 at 9:48am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Melissa Strauss, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I am client focused and believe everyone has a strength. I feel confident in seeing clients with generalized and social anxiety, depression and relational goals.

Top Rated Answers
flight
December 28th, 2014 8:02pm
I would help them by continuing to support them in their quest to maintain sobriety. It can be difficult to find a way to continue normal life after rehabilitation, and support and love may be all someone needs.
Annie
February 18th, 2016 4:00pm
When someone comes back from rehab, he or she would love an enthusiastic smile, a big hug, and CONGRATULATIONS on completing rehab successfully! Offer an invitation to see a movie or just to come over and watch TV. Support their new healthy habits (without hovering anxiously, of course). For example, if they're not using alcohol, serve delicious non-alcohol beverages without making a fuss over it. Offer lots of healthy food choices. Offer to go with them to the gym, or bike rides if they like cycling, etc. Attend Alanon For Family Members to learn how to support their recovery. Offer to take a phone call in the middle of the night when things get tough. Smile. Relax. Offer help with transportation if they lost their driver's license. Admire and compliment sincerely for small achievements. And more laughs and hugs! Accept changes in patterns and new ways of approaching things. And feel free to ASK them how to support them. And keep in mind, their recovery isn't the only topic of conversation! Talk about other things, too! Try to forgive the rotten things they did before. But have reasonable boundaries. Don't do things for them that they should do for themselves. Your job isn't to save them. Focus on your own self-improvement and let them be in charge of theirs. :-)
gentleBraid63
January 7th, 2015 7:26am
How to best support someone depends on the person. In general, though, the best way to provide support is to let them know you're proud of them and the work they're doing, and to encourage them to continue taking care of themselves. If you want, offer to drive them to recovery group meetings, or to watch a movie with them on a night when they would have usually gone out to party. Make sure to take care of yourself, and remember that their sobriety is up to them; all you can do is love them. Consider joining a group like Al-Anon, for friends and family of alcoholics and other addicts.
Anonymous
February 8th, 2016 9:09am
Let them talk to you about their journey in rehab and what the next step is to recovery. Always be there to lend a helping hand and regularly check in with them, let them know that there is always someone they can turn to.
Dareenia
September 20th, 2014 1:50am
Speaking a chemical dependency counselor, help them make sure there are healthy foods in the kitchen, the available of fresh/filtered water, support them in attending 12-Step meetings, attend al-anon to understand their disease better and most importantly, ask them how you can best support them.
comprehendyourheartx3
November 2nd, 2014 10:20pm
get them to feel like they havent missed out on much. and always continue to show how happy you are that they are out and help them keep eye on their goals outside of rehab
24hoursaday
November 4th, 2014 3:25pm
I can't give advice per se, but only share my experience. For me, when I got out of rehab I was still adjusting to living clean and sober. Emotions that I hadn't been dealing with for years welled to the surface. Fortunately, my family supported me by being loving and patient as I acclimated myself to a new design for living in recovery.
tranquilTree92
November 9th, 2014 1:24pm
If possible talk to their counsellor or person who cared for them in rehabilitation and ask them for some specific information about how to best support them with their recovery. They may be able to offer you some support to.
Dailydaydreama
November 30th, 2014 6:49am
Respect and trust are really important when supporting someone you love by being involved in as many ways as possible it will help you understand the things they need
rayofhope11
December 2nd, 2014 8:39pm
Support is a great thing to give, making sure they are eating healthy and keeping hydrated you can support them attending 12 step programs. Also Al-anon is a great resource for friends a family of those with addictions.
Lucipurroxie
December 24th, 2014 6:40pm
Just remind them that you are there to listen to them when they need a friend/family member to talk to. I was in a mental hospital for a good while and a strong support system did wonders for me. Knowing I had people that cared really helped in my recover.
brightTouch58
January 2nd, 2015 9:28pm
by not being judgemental when they show signs of weakness. You should educate yourself on the addiction they are battling with as this with give you a clear understanding of what they are going through
Anonymous
April 16th, 2015 8:16pm
Tell thatperson you're always with her/him, you'll always love her/him, and always support that person so s/he will feel safe :)
ThatGuyMartin
May 22nd, 2015 4:11pm
Be compassionate, be there for them and don't judge them. They have just been at their lowest, and will require help to rebuild their lives. Due to this, they will be extremely vulnerable, but make sure that they feel supported, and at the same time look out for them relapsing
Anonymous
June 30th, 2015 2:54am
Assurance you care and love them will be the first step. Also they will most likely have been put in contact with Alcoholics Anonimys in rehab. Assisting and ensuring their attendace on a frequant basis in the next 3 to 4 months will be very important part of this also. .
colorized
December 10th, 2015 6:51pm
give them trust, but keep an eye on them, support them show them love and care about them, make them feel comfortable and surrounded with loved one never ignore them.
Mike30400
December 14th, 2015 1:12am
You have to remember to always support them. They are going through a tough time. You have to be there for them by understanding what they are going through. The fact that they made the decision to go is amazing because they want to get better. Just be loving helpful and understanding.
dancingStrawberry34
April 12th, 2016 5:28am
You offer your love and support to maintain sobriety. While they are in rehab, sending cards packages things like that and calling them everyday. showing you still care, and still love them.
VaughnA
September 4th, 2017 9:48am
Patience is key. Remind them that even though they are struggling, they are still deeply loved. If they don't trust that you'll have their back, they may turn to using again if they have no other outlet. Encourage them to stay open about their emotions and urges. If they have a plan to deal with their urges, review it with them. If they don't, create one together. Reassurance and honesty go a longer way than you probably think.