If your friend or loved one is in an addiction treatment center, there’s a good chance that you have mixed feelings about this. You may be ecstatic that your relative is getting the treatment he/she needs to overcome addiction, but you may feel awkward or uncomfortable when it comes to visiting your family member and trying to maintain a normal conversation.
Here are some of the things to keep in mind during your visit to ensure that you can maintain a healthy relationship and contribute to your loved one’s healing and rehabilitation.
Don’t Bring Up Stressful Subjects
It’s a bad idea to bring up family drama while you’re visiting your family member. Remember that going through things like detoxing and fighting off cravings for alcohol are considerably stressful for your relative, and telling your loved one things that could cause stress or anxiety will only make matters worse. It’s also best not to mention money to your relative. He/she probably already knows that rehab is really expensive. Reminding your family member how much you or other relatives are paying for rehabilitation services could make your relative feel ashamed, and could even trigger a relapse.
Don’t Mention Physical Appearance
Your loved one knows if they’ve gained a considerable amount of weight during the recovery process. This is common, but if you mention it, you could cause your relative to feel embarrassed and self-conscious. Your loved one may also start becoming resentful and angry. Remember, the goal is to make sure that your family member gets through this process successfully and enters society again as a healthy and happy individual. Don’t do anything that will encourage your loved one to start drinking again when you’re supposed to be supporting him/her on the road to recovery.
Avoid Talking About the Future
Don’t put pressure on your friend or family member about making plans for the future. This can be very overwhelming, and may make your loved one feel like a failure before they’ve completed rehab. Talk about current events or make small talk about the weather. Ask your loved one how they’re enjoy the rehab program. But don’t start asking your relative about what he/she will do with their career or how he/she’ll have to pick up the pieces of their lives and mend relationships after rehab. This leads to unnecessary stress that can be very counterproductive.
Finally, it’s very important to that your encouraging and positive during your visit. Let your family member know that he/she is doing well, and tell them that you admire his/her courage for deciding to go to rehab. The more praise and encouragement you give your relative, the more likely he/she is to complete all steps of the rehabilitation program successfully.
During your visits with your loved ones, make sure you meet with the staff as well—especially those who work closely with your family member. The more information you have about your relative’s treatment plan, the more effective and beneficial your visits will be.