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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. The best way to support your loved one after they come home from Desert Hope is to be understanding, supportive, patient, and involved with their recovery.

The best way to support your loved one after they come home from Desert Hope is to be understanding, supportive, patient, and involved with their recovery.

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 goal is to help your loved one experience the smoothest possible transition back into society after their time in rehab at Desert Hope.

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 offer great opportunities for step-down care, for example.

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

Supporting Your Loved One After Rehab

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. Your loved one’s participation in aftercare is critical to their ability to achieve lasting sobriety.

Talk About Relapse

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.

Remember, if your loved one completes 90 continuous days of treatment at Desert Hope and relapses, we will treat them again for free for 30 days.

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. Desert Hope offers family therapy so you can mend the relationship between you, your family, and your loved one in recovery.

Supporting Yourself

Understand that some things are out of your control – but that your love and support can go a long way toward helping your loved one experience a successful, long-term recovery.

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. Understand that some things are out of your control – but that your love and support can go a long way toward helping your loved one experience a successful, long-term recovery.

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 Anyonymous.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Desert Hope Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have... Read More