Leaving behind your family and loved ones to get treatment is not easy but necessary if you want to make a full recovery and live a healthy, productive life.
Research indicates that support from close family members can contribute towards a successful recovery. Most rehabs do not allow patients to have visitors at the onset of treatment because the visits can be overwhelming for both the patient and family member, especially if you go through the detoxification phase.
When rehabilitation first begins, emotions are usually running high among all the involved parties. Allowing visits at this point can affect your treatment negatively. It is essential for both the family members and patients to work with the staff at the drug rehab and follow their guidelines on visiting times and duration.
Some drug rehabs require family members to undertake some sessions before they can visit with a patient. During these sessions, they are taken through the dos and don’ts that must be adhered to to ensure that the visits are productive and don’t leave the patient worse than they were before the visit.
Rules and Guidelines on Family Visits in Drug Rehabs
Ideally, family visits are supposed to offer support to a patient and help them towards recovery. However, family members can do some things during visits, which ultimately affect the recovery process negatively. Some of the don’ts of family visits include:
- Family members should not bring any negative energy. People struggling with drug addiction usually fall out with family members because of their behavior while under the influence of drugs. If a family member still harbors any anger, hatred, or other negative feelings towards the patient, they should not visit them at the drug rehab. While individuals struggling with addiction notably do things that cause pain and harm to others, it is essential to realize that they are not in their right mind when acting that way. Making them feel worse about their behavior can affect their ability to heal from the addiction.
- Family members should not talk about the cost of rehabilitation with the patient. The patient most likely feels guilty for being in that situation already. The talk of money can push them over the edge and even cause them to quit the program. Visitors should reassure them that all will be well and root for their full recovery.
- Visitors should avoid conversations around the future. Patients get overwhelmed with thoughts about the future because, deep down, one of their greatest fears is relapsing. Any conversation about what they will do, where they will work, or how they plan to stay sober can be too much for the patient to handle.
- Visitors should avoid all conversations about weight gain or weight loss. During treatment, patients may gain or lose significant body weight. Bringing up this weight difference might be taken negatively by the patient, especially if they already had body image issues. Such conversations could leave them feeling embarrassed and affect their recovery process.
- Visitors should not apply pressure on the patient. They should avoid reminding them of all the wrong things they did while under the influence of drugs. More often than not, a patient in a rehab center is aware they messed up. Reminding them of all the wrong things they did before seeking treatment can affect their recovery journey.
Now that we have looked at all the don’ts let’s go through the dos of visiting a loved one in drug rehab.
- Always arrive on time. Treatment is not easy on the patient, and they look forward to visits from a loved one. Showing up late or not showing up can leave them feeling unwanted, unworthy and, in turn, affect their commitment to the recovery process.
- Applaud them for their effort and wins, no matter how insignificant they might seem to you. Deciding to get help in drug rehab is not easy for an individual struggling with addiction. Affirming that decision and celebrating the patient’s wins with them while in rehab is vital for their healing. It helps to keep them motivated and committed to the treatment and recovery process.
- It is crucial to introduce yourself to the staff and keep engaging with them on your loved one’s progress as a family member. Get to know those working with the patient, appreciate them, and ensure that they can reach you when needed.
- While visiting, you should focus on general topics of discussion such as news events and weather. During treatment in drug rehab, patients sometimes feel disconnected from the world. They might begin questioning their value and role in society, affecting their motivation to stay clean. Deep down, they wonder what their role will be in society upon recovery. Keeping conversations as casual as possible makes them feel informed and still part of society.
- Feel free to carry along something to share during visits. Depending on the stage of treatment at the drug rehab, your loved one might not be willing to open up. Visitors can carry snacks, movies, music, family photos, and other items that the patient enjoys because they act as a great conversation starter. Bringing a piece of the outside world to them also helps them develop a sense of belonging to the world, making it easy to integrate them into society once they complete their treatment.
Family support at drug rehab is critical, but loved ones should follow all the rules and guidelines laid down by the treatment facility to impact their recovery positively.