As soon as someone arrives in treatment, plans need to be put in place for what happens after.
A lot might have to change at home, as it is likely there was a dynamic that allowed and somewhat supported the addiction. The changes at home will have to be more than just clearing out the alcohol from the house. Time must be spent creating plans and boundaries about how life is going to be post-treatment, not just for the person in recovery, but for everyone in the house.
Returning home from treatment can be jarring not only for the recoveree, but for their friends and family as well. Some may feel like their loved one caused a lot of damage and gets a vacation of sorts while in treatment, while they are left to pick up the pieces at home. The person that went to treatment may feel a new energy thanks to sobriety, and may be eager to get back to life and fix problems; and sometimes their families may not be ready for that new person.
It is for this reason most treatment facilities have family programs that begin working with the family almost immediately once someone checks in.
Family members or friends might even want to consider seeking out professional help from a therapist or other mental health care provider. After all the person in recovery is seeing someone, so why not the people that were also affected by their addiction.
I encourage the loved ones affected by the addiction to attend a few AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and Alanon meetings. Attending AA meetings can help someone understand what their loved one was going through when their addiction was at its worst. Families may have preconceived notions about people with addictions or a lack of faith in just how committed their loved one is to recovery. Attending these meetings can help destigmatize addiction and give families a renewed hope for the person in recovery.
Alanon is an offshoot of AA for friends and family. Alanon meetings can be very helpful in providing a support system for those who did not gain one by going to rehab. The people that one meets at Alanon meetings have been through similar troubles and are ready to help families that are just starting to recover. This kind kinship and understanding can really help people to process what they are going through.
Suntra offers family support programing for all individuals that have used our services for treatment facility placement.
Adam Banks is a certified recovery coach and interventionist at Suntra Modern Recovery. He received an MBA from the University of Chicago and built a company which United Health Care acquired. He learned his rigor and attention to detail from his career as an airline pilot, holding an ATP, the FAA’s highest license.