What to Know About Your Loved One’s Treatment

When you’re invested in your loved one’s recovery from addiction, you may be curious about how they’ll be spending their time while at Desert Hope and how you can remain in contact with them. Our facility offers many therapies and therapeutic activities that will help your loved one adjust to a healthier lifestyle and learn the skills they need to stay abstinent from drugs and alcohol.

What Will My Loved One Be Doing at Desert Hope?

group therapy session at desert hope for addiction treatment

Every patient has their own individualized treatment plan. Your loved one’s treatment plan will be structured around factors such as the severity of their substance use disorder, their history with substance abuse, and whether they have a co-occurring mental health disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, or an anxiety disorder.

Your loved one’s curriculum will include therapies that address the unique challenges they may face when recovering from their addiction.

Therapies are held in both individual and group sessions, the latter of which helps patients connect and identify with peers who are struggling with similar issues.

Your loved one’s treatment may include approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, the Matrix Model, psychoeducation, and motivational interviewing. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR, may also be available for qualifying patients.

During your loved one’s time in treatment, they will also be working with their team on creating an aftercare plan to follow when their time in rehab comes to an end. 

Desert Hope offers Spanish translation for Spanish-speaking family members to ensure that you get the information you need before and during treatment. 

Can I Talk to My Loved One?

Your loved one will be not be available to speak with you for the duration of medical detox or the first 72 hours after starting residential treatment. This period gives them time to get settled in and adjusted to their new treatment schedule. This also allows our medical staff to closely monitor your loved one’s vitals and psychiatric health, especially in the case that they are in medical detox.

After the initial waiting period, you can speak to your loved one at any time outside of programming hours (e.g., times they’re receiving therapy and psychoeducation).

If you do not hear from your loved one, it’s possible they may be taking time to focus on their recovery. You may contact us; however, be advised that we may only release information to you if your loved one has given us express permission to do so.

In the event of a serious medical emergency, our staff will notify family or other emergency contacts.

What Is My Role?

Recovering from a substance use disorder can be difficult without supportive friends and family members who can cheer you on.

At Desert Hope, we support not only our patients but our families. Our counselors will provide family education, typically over the phone, and will answer all questions you may have about your loved one’s addiction, treatment, and recovery.

It’s also crucial you maintain your own mental health, and therapy, counseling, and peer support can help you just as it helps your loved one. As the family member of a current or former patient at Desert Hope, you can access the Family Support Team through the American Addiction Centers (AAC) Recovery App.

The Recovery App allows you to post and share content with other families, watch videos and podcasts, track milestones, and more. The information you post will only be viewable to the Family Support Team and other families of addiction treatment patients (i.e., kept private from your loved one in recovery).

Can Families and Couples Attend Treatment Together?

Family, friends, and couples who are struggling with addiction are welcome to come to Desert Hope together for treatment. Entering addiction treatment together can offer families and couples a unique opportunity to heal individually and strengthen their bond, creating a solid foundation for a healthy and fulfilling future together. Additionally, our Licensed Marital and Family Therapist (LMFT) provides weekly sessions to help repair and rebuild relationships that have been affected by addiction.

Seeking addiction treatment together can be a powerful step towards individual and relationship recovery. However, room arrangements are separate to ensure each individual’s progress.

Family Visits

Family members can visit their loved ones at Desert Hope on Saturdays and Sundays. Your loved one may receive 2 visitors from their pre-approved visitation list per scheduled visit time. Make sure your loved one has added you to this list before your visit.*

After you arrive, you will be asked to sign our guestbook and a confidentiality and privacy agreement. You will also be searched and asked to leave any outside food and drink behind, unless those items are sealed and unopened.

Desert Hope hosts two Family Days per month so that families can meet in large groups. Family Days are held on Saturdays between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. You may contact our facility at any time to learn more about the next scheduled Family Day.*

Desert Hope Treatment Center is located at 2465 East Twain Avenue in Las Vegas, NV, 89121.

We are located about 10 minutes away from Harry Reid International Airport near many hotels, including the casino hotels on nearby Las Vegas Boulevard.

* Family weekends and family days are currently on hold due to COVID. 

Can I Bring Gifts or Items to Desert Hope?

Yes, you may bring gifts and other items to Desert Hope during visiting hours. However, our staff will screen all items and open gifts beforehand for safety purposes and to make sure no prohibited items are brought onto the premises.

When Your Loved One Leaves Desert Hope

Our treatment center offers a safe, structured, supportive environment for those in recovery from substance use disorders. When your loved one comes home after completing their treatment program, they’ll need your ongoing support as they adjust to a new, drug-free lifestyle.

We may ask you to come meet with your loved one and their counselor to discharge planning, boundaries, and expectations for your loved one’s return home. Our goal is to help your loved one experience the smoothest possible transition back into society after their time in rehab at Desert Hope.

What Is Desert Hope’s Discharge Process?

We start planning for the discharge process the moment your loved one arrives at Desert Hope. We will discuss and review the expectations surrounding your loved one’s treatment, and coordinate the discharge process with all necessary parties pertaining to work, legal, and family issues.

Our staff and therapists work closely with all patients to transition them from their current treatment programs to a lower level of care. We’ll recommend an appropriate level of care for your loved one based on their unique obstacles and the social stressors they may face when trying to stay sober. Desert Hope’s partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs in Las Vegas offer great opportunities for step-down care, for example.

Our staff may also refer your loved one to a nearby Las Vegas sober living facility if that is part of their aftercare plan.

Supporting an Addict in Recovery

family member supporting loved one on the road to recovery

Your loved one needs a strong support system at home to stay on the right path and avoid a relapse. This does not mean that you are responsible for your loved one’s recovery; however, it does mean that your nonjudgmental and loving support can help them to stay on the right track.

Express to them that you understand recovering from a substance use disorder is no easy feat. Be an active listener when your loved one confides in you about their struggles. Understand that recovery can be a long, complicated process, and try to be as patient as you can with your loved one as they adjust to their new lifestyle without drugs or alcohol.

Encourage healthy behaviors – such as exercising and cooking healthy meals – that can benefit your loved one both physically and mentally and that can distract them from their triggers. Foster a healthy home environment that prohibits access to drugs, alcohol, and related paraphernalia.

It’s important to establish boundaries and help your loved one understand the consequences that will occur should they relapse or fail to respect the boundaries you have in place.

If your loved one has decided to continue with treatment in the form of an aftercare program or recovery meetings, work with them to make travel arrangements to and from these facilities.

Addiction Relapse Prevention Strategies

Relapse rates for alcohol and drug use disorders are comparable to those for other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. If your loved one relapses, it may mean that they need a different treatment plan to address the root cause of the relapse, such as learning how to overcome and manage certain triggers.

Support your loved one by discussing the nature of relapse. Ask about the relapse prevention plan they developed while in treatment. Your loved one’s relapse prevention plan can help familiarize you with their triggers and with their planned course of action when faced with these triggers.

Keep an eye out for common relapse warning signs such as elevated stress levels, loss of structure, and change in attitude. Connect your loved one with support immediately if you think they may relapse.

Stay Involved

A person’s substance use disorder can also affect their friends, family, and loved ones. Involving yourself in your loved one’s recovery can strengthen your relationship and improve your dynamic.

Family therapy with your loved one can heal conflicts and address unresolved problems that may be causing strain in your relationship, thus putting them at risk for relapse.

Supporting Yourself

In order to properly care for and support your loved one in recovery, you must take good care of yourself as well. Watching your loved one struggle as they work hard to maintain sobriety and recover from their substance use disorder can sometimes be extremely difficult and overwhelming.

To prevent your loved one’s recovery from taking a toll on your own well-being, focus on setting healthy boundaries and practice your own set of healthy lifestyle behaviors. Stay physically active, eat healthy foods, and get plenty of quality sleep.

You may also look for meetings geared toward loved ones whose lives have been impacted by another’s substance abuse, including Al-Anon, Alateen, Nar-Anon, and Codependents Anonymous.


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