The decision to enter a family member at a rehab facility to seek treatment is not easy. The truth is, it is only the first step and they can’t do it alone. They will need your help if they want to fully recover from their substance use disorder.
As part of their support group, you are vital to your family member’s recovery. This means helping them prepare to enter rehab and visiting them. The latter can be a problem for some due to location, but by choosing a rehab center that’s close to where you live, you can easily visit as often as you’d like. For example, living in Phoenix will make visiting an Arizona drug rehab convenient.
In any case, visiting your loved one can be an emotional time for all parties involved. It is not just the person undergoing treatment who is having a tough time, it can also be the one visiting. To prepare yourself both physically and mentally, here are some things to expect when visiting family in rehab.
Punctuality Is Key
Showing up on time can positively impact your family member’s treatment. It might not be commonly known, but every facility sets a healthy structure for them to follow, including a well-planned routine. As a visitor, you need to respect that schedule to help with their treatment. This means being on time whenever you visit. Also, you can arrive earlier than your scheduled visit to give you time to familiarize yourself with the facility and get everything ready.
One thing you may notice when you see your loved one in rehab is their physical appearance. Those going through rehab can experience weight gain or loss. This is normal as their body is going through a lot of changes. When you see them, it’s best not to bring these up.
Whether you feel they look better or worse, you don’t know how they feel about the change in their appearance. They may still be struggling emotionally and commenting about it may just embarrass them. Instead, allow them to bring it up first, only then should you talk about it. When you do, you want to keep it light.
Every rehab facility ensures a safe and positive environment for its patients, as this contributes to their treatment. It’s best to continue this experience throughout your visit by bringing positive energy. Remember, the person you care for is going through several challenges. Moreover, they may be feeling down and missing friends and family, so it’s good to boost their spirits when you visit.
Normally, your family member has unresolved issues while their treatment is ongoing. For example, they may have some financial matters they haven’t settled before entering the facility. They may also have debts related to their battle with substance abuse disorder. On the other hand, attending a rehab program can also be costly, even with all the affordable treatments available. All these things add up, and it won’t do them any good by discussing it. It may even cause them to fall into a depressive state and consider relapsing into old, bad habits.
However, you can help them with the solution once they end their rehab program. In line with this, you also need to avoid pressuring them to rush their progress. They are well aware they would need to mend a lot of relationships when they recover. Instead, assure them that you will help them overcome the challenges and issues once they have completed their treatment. This will give them hope and encourage their recovery.
Most rehab facilities remind the patient’s family to be encouraging. This includes reminding them that each step they take is a step towards staying clean for good. When you visit them, applaud them for all their hard work and the progress they are making, no matter how small. It’s also good to point out to them that entering rehab is a courageous decision. By doing this, it will inspire them to continue to do well in their treatment.
General Conversation Topics
You want an enjoyable visit for you and your family member, so it’s best to make the conversations light. It’s best to talk about general topics like the weather or some positive events that recently happened. You don’t have to discuss what other family members feel about the situation because this might make them anxious and add stress. Instead, you can talk about a book you’ve read or the series you are binge-watching on Netflix.
The key here is to make them feel like they are part of something aside from the treatment. On the other hand, you can also talk about objects or food they miss. Ask them if there is anything else you can do to make them feel more comfortable, such as bringing their favorite fleece blanket or snack. It could make a lot of difference in their day and can help them with their treatment.
It’s always good to stay in the present and focus on what is currently happening rather than talking about their future. This can harm their recovery process. For example, the thoughts of what they will do after the treatment can present stress and anxiety. They may still be not ready for this, so the best thing to do is to focus on their progress and help them focus on staying clean.
Mingle with the Staff
Before you leave, take some time to meet and get to know the staff. This will help you be more involved with the facility’s process. Meanwhile, you can also introduce yourself to the people working to help with your family member’s treatment. They can help keep you updated with their progress and discharge date.
Your family member will undergo a lot of changes when they enter a rehab facility. Inside, they are overcoming several obstacles to get better and have a healthier lifestyle. They are taking the first step towards living a substance-free life, and they can’t do it alone. Whenever you visit them, it will affect their progress. To make sure you will always support their healing, prepare yourself for the visit. Take note of the things to expect mentioned above for an enjoyable visit.