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Post-Treatment Recovery Decisions
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Putting Blame Aside & Supporting Their Sober Lifestyle After Substance Abuse Treatment
It’s all too easy to feel as if your loved one’s recovery lies in your hands. You may feel weighed down with guilt over their addiction or over your own reaction to it. You may feel as if you’re obligated to welcome them into your home after they complete treatment.
However, the decision about who lives in your home is a personal one. Your reasons for not wanting your loved one to live with you–whether they involve children in the home, the safety of your possessions, or any other reason–are valid. You should be commended for trusting your instincts.
You are not responsible for your loved one’s addiction or recovery. Only your loved one is responsible, and only they are responsible for any relapse. Don’t blame yourself for their actions. Doing so is actually detrimental to your loved one’s recovery. When you blame yourself, you give your loved one an out. Now they don’t have to take responsibility for their own choices.
Holding your loved one accountable for their actions makes them a stronger in their recovery. Encouraging them to get involved in a sober living establishment promotes long-lasting recovery from drugs & alcohol.
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Addiction is a Family Disease
It’s not surprising if you feel stressed over the issue of whether to allow your loved one to live with you after treatment. That’s because addiction is actually a family disease. It stresses families, sometimes until they break. Addiction can affect your family’s mental health, family dynamics, physical health, unity, and finances.
When you bring an addict under your roof, even during recovery, you run the risk of having your normal routines interrupted without warning. You might even experience frightening moments if your loved one should undergo a relapse, and it’s understandable if you just don’t want to expose yourself or your children to that possibility.
Living with an addicted loved one in the home also tears at you emotionally. You remember the way they used to be before their addiction, and you’re tempted to blame yourself. You may have to deal with what can feel like Twilight Zone experiences if your loved one slips into denial and refuses to deal with reality. Maybe you’ve already experienced this before your loved one went into treatment, so you’re worried about reliving what you went through before.
Setting Healthy Boundaries After Treatment to Rebuild a Stronger Relationship
Setting boundaries is crucial if you and your loved one are to rebuild the relationship that has been so damaged by drug addiction. When you create boundaries, you help your loved one understand what they’re responsible for, making it clear that you won’t rescue them from bad decisions or give them easy ways out of problems.
Healthy boundaries also allow trust, respect, and love to grow, because they provide a nurturing environment. They also allow a healthy flow of communication between everyone in the family, because you’re all able to recognize where your own responsibilities stop and each other’s begin.
Yes, you may still disagree or come into conflict. But those conflicts are now rooted in honesty and truth, rather than in denial, distortion and untruth. As a result, you have a firm basis on which to work through your conflicts.
Don’t be afraid to draw boundaries. If you’re not comfortable housing your loved one after treatment, look for a sober living community that can help them in their recovery, possibly better than you could.
- Do You Want to Help Your Loved One Find a Strong Aftercare Plan?
Maintaining sobriety & finding life fulfilling after years of substance abuse can be feel impossible; learn more about ABTRS’s 5 steps to a strong aftercare.
Sometimes Healthy Boundaries Involves Sober Living Housing
A sober living home is a short-term living environment for those in recovery. People living in the sober living home must agree to abide by certain rules.
Typically, they have to go to work at least part-time and follow curfew rules at the home. In addition, all people in a sober living home must remain sober.
Sober living homes are an excellent way for those in recovery to adjust to life without addictive behavior. Being surrounded by others going on the same journey provides instant support, and most sober living homes have trained professionals living in the home to provide guidance.
When your loved one enters a sober living home, they must be responsible to buy and prepare their own food, and to handle household chores, just as if they were living on their own. They’re held accountable by having to submit to regular drug tests.
At A Better Today Recovery Services, we’re happy to help you in your search for the right sober living option. Talk to us if this an option you want to explore for your loved one.
The Importance of Aftercare in Preventing Relapse
Whether your loved one goes into a sober living home after rehab, comes home to stay with you, or ends up living in another arrangement, aftercare is criticial to their long-term success in recovery. That transitional period between treatment and the return to normal life is a difficult and delicate time, and aftercare provides a much-needed bridge.
During aftercare, your loved one will stay in therapy, either in one-on-one or group sessions. Family therapy may also be in order, especially if you have decided to let your loved one live with you. During this therapy, your loved one will continue to develop new, healthy habits and learn coping strategies to make recovery successful. The continued therapy also drives home the point that, no, they’re not cured when they finish treatment.
Your loved one may be frightened to face the responsibilities, stresses, temptations and pressures of the real world after such a long time masking problems with drugs. The support system provided during aftercare for six months to a year allows your loved one’s confidence and life skills to grow and expand.
Look for an aftercare program, whether residential or outpatient, that focuses on preventing relapse, helps your loved one restructure family dynamics, addresses triggers and temptations, teaches relational skills, and provides stress management tools. Many aftercare programs also incorporate random drug testing into their design.
Consider Evening IOP for Your Loved One’s Aftercare
Anonymous Fellowships and Other Substance Abuse Aftercare Options
One popular version of aftercare involves joining a fellowship group, typically a 12-step program. These groups bring together people who all share the same goal: staying sober and helping others to do so. In these groups, all members are considered equal, which may be very appealing to your loved one.
Fellowship groups provide the kind of emotional support needed to tackle the problems that arise when starting a new life. Some members of the group may be able to provide actionable advice and valuable information, while others just serve one another by listening. In addition, members of these groups provide a valuable feedback network to each other, helping each other to avoid unwise decisions.
Fellowship groups also answer the problems with loneliness that can beset those going through recovery. You don’t want your loved one hanging out with the former friends who supported their addiction, yet you can’t provide all the social support they need. By joining a group that’s devoted to recovery and sobriety, your loved one can maintain focus while dispelling loneliness and boredom.
In addition, other members of the fellowship provide knowledgeable support should your loved one be tempted to relapse. At A Better Today Recovery Services, we’re prepared to help your loved one find aftercare. Effective aftercare will help you rebuild social networks and move into healthy relationships with confidence.
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Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2004. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 39.) Chapter 1 Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64269/
Tracy, K., & Wallace, S. P. (2016). Benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addiction. Substance abuse and rehabilitation, 7, 143-154. doi:10.2147/SAR.S81535
Melemis S. M. (2015). Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 88(3), 325-32.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 18-4742PT4. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2018.
Medically Reviewed Articles & Resources
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