What Is the Discharge Process?
If your loved one has consented to the facility releasing information to you, we will keep you updated as to all the details of their discharge process and plan.
You will know the date and the steps your loved one will take upon exiting the program. We work with your loved one the entire time they are in treatment to develop a plan for their aftercare. This may involve a transition to an outpatient program, a transition to a sober living facility, or other steps. We can help facilitate the transition into the next level of care.
Your loved one will count on you to help them maintain their aftercare plan. You are not responsible for your loved one’s recovery but you can help to hold them accountable for sticking to their plan for recovery.
Ways to Support Your Loved One
Finding recovery is difficult process that often involves many setbacks and a lot of emotional ups and downs. Your loved one will need you as they transition out of a very structured and supportive treatment environment. Express empathy for what they’ve been through and what they may be feeling as they face a return to their everyday life. Avoid judgment and bringing up old wounds. If possible, continue family or couples’ therapy to continue working on resolving any relationship conflicts in healthy ways.
Your loved may feel overwhelmed when they leave the treatment environment. You can support them logistically by helping them find and/or get to recovery meetings near them. You can also help them find other recovery resources as necessary such as outpatient therapy and recovery-related events in their community.
You can also support your loved one’s recovery by setting clear boundaries and making consequences for crossing those boundaries very clear.
Understand the Nature of Relapse
Relapse is a part of many people’s journey to recovery. Many people who do find long-term recovery experience relapse at least once on the way. Try not to view a relapse as a failure but rather an indication that some kind of change is needed, whether it’s an adjustment in the treatment plan, a renewed focus on therapy, a change in location, etc.
Discuss the possibility of relapse honestly with your loved one. Go over their relapse plan with them and help them follow it.
Avoid creating a tempting environment. For example, if they come home from treatment to live with you, do not keep drugs or alcohol in the house or use substances in front of them.
Watch for warning signs of impending relapse and get your loved one connected to support immediately. Remember that should a relapse occur, Greenhouse allows your loved one to come back for a free 30 days of treatment (see details here).
Addiction is often called a family disease because it takes a heavy toll on everyone who loves the addicted individual. Lingering conflicts and resentments in the family and other close relationships can contribute to relapse. Family therapy can help you resolve these issues and learn better ways of communicating.
Often, family members will stay in touch with their loved one’s primary therapist after treatment ends via email and phone calls. This is a great way to stay connected and ask questions and the therapist can be a valuable resource if your loved one’s emotional state or motivation begins to degrade.
Ways to Support Yourself
Addiction is stressful and traumatic for the family members of those who are struggling. It can take a toll on your health, job, finances and more. You need to attend to your own health by eating well, getting regular sleep, and setting healthy boundaries that you stick to.
You can also find meetings for family members of addicted persons, such as:
- Al-Anon – This group offers support for those who love someone struggling with alcoholism.
- Alateen – Essentially Al-Anon for young people, this group offers support for teens and adolescents whose lives have been impacted by someone else’s drinking.
- Nar-anon – A 12-step program for individuals who love those struggling with a drug addiction.
- Co-dependents Anonymous – This 12-step programs helps people overcome codependency and develop healthy relationships.