22 Sep Feeling Close to a Loved One in Rehab

If you have a loved one who has recently begun inpatient treatment for an ongoing drug or alcohol addiction, you are likely happy for them in their decision but may miss their company. You are likely looking for ways that you can offer support as well. Here are some ways that you can offer support and feel close to a loved one even while they are away in rehab.

Learn about their addiction

As your learn more about your loved one’s addiction and the associated treatment process, you’ll come to better understand what your loved one is going through. You might even consider reaching out to anyone you might know who has battled with addiction in the past to gain insights from them. The things you learn might help you to relate your loved one’s trials to things that you have battled in your own life, allowing you to feel a special measure of compassion for your loved one.

Write a letter

Every addiction recovery treatment center will have its own guidelines surrounding outside communication, perhaps including a probation period towards the beginning when no outside contact is allowed, but outside of this you can count on letter writing for keeping in touch. A letter from you could be just what your loved one needs on a day when spirits are low. Focus on sending words of encouragement, celebrating milestones with them, and sharing uplifting news from home.

Send a care package

Of course, you should be sure to check with the particular facility your loved one is at before sending a care package to ensure that everything you are including is safe to send. You might send things like photos from home, a collection of letters from friends and family members, journaling supplies, books, or small treats that your loved one might like.

Participate in the family program

Some addiction recovery facilities offer comprehensive family-oriented programs designed to help the family of a recovering addict recover from the addiction as well. (Therapia has one such program.) These programs will include the family in the healing process, helping them to play a role in their loved one’s recovery, better understand addiction, and cope with the emotional consequences of addiction. Participating in the recovery process is perhaps the best thing that you can do to support your loved one who is in recovery.

Ally Keenan is a University of Utah graduate and currently works as a Clinical Social Worker and Substance Use Disorder Counselor. Ally started her career in 2009 working in adolescent residential treatment as an assistant program director. Since 2010, she has worked as a clinician with individuals suffering from addictions, chemical dependency, and co-occurring mental health disorders in both the Intensive Outpatient and Residential treatment capacities. Ally currently serves on the board as vice-president of the non-profit foundation Recovery Outreach; a 501(c)(3) organization created to help fund treatment for individuals suffering from addiction and lacking the financial resources to afford it. In 2010, she took the opportunity to incorporate her passion for animals, and their powerful healing nature, into her work through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA). She truly enjoys facilitating Equine Psychotherapy, and life-skills sessions, as a form of experiential therapy.
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