Ramon Antonio Matta

Freelance Journalist, Content Creator, Copywriter, Author and Founder of Content Done Write.

May 2, 2022
Published on: wishrehab.com
2 min read
Five Things Not to Do or Say When Your Loved One Is in Rehab

Many people in recovery feel embarrassed or ashamed. Because of how others treat them, many people have problems talking about their drug use, which causes dread and prevents them from obtaining the care they genuinely need. This article will discuss five things to avoid when dealing with such a circumstance and how to communicate to your loved ones without making them feel worse or wanting to clam up and stop getting therapy.

Please don’t make them feel like a burden.

When someone addicted to drugs or alcohol decides to go to treatment, they may struggle to adjust to life without their substance of choice. They could be sad, worried, suicidal, or feel isolated and alone in their struggles.

Your loved one may already feel like a burden on you. So, family, friends, and loved ones must recognize how difficult this time is for them. At times, they may be unable to think coherently or express their thoughts. Their recovery and time in therapy is not the time to “correct” them or tell them what they should have done.

As relatives, caregivers, and friends, you must assist those in recovery in discovering the things that truly nourish them. Recovery is a lengthy and challenging process. It involves some discomfort and a willingness to explore. While we can’t and shouldn’t do other people’s recovery work, we can and should help individuals in recovery find support, relevance, and drive to keep going.

Your loved one has chosen to pursue addiction treatment, and you should feel proud of their courageousness and growth in doing so. Assure them often that you care and that they are not alone. You want to be mindful of what you say. Of course, you don’t walk on pins and needles, but your words can affect your loved one’s mood and attitude toward rehab. Avoid saying things like they “need to get help.” Instead, try adding, “I can’t imagine how difficult this is for you, but I’m here for you.”

Do not judge.

It’s hard to understand what others may be going through or why they made their choices. Still, it’s crucial to empathize and understand that not everything lines up perfectly in life most times. We don’t know what drove them down this route, and we haven’t been there, so please consider their viewpoint. It’s unpleasant, but it’s necessary since we don’t know how terrible their daily challenges are or if they’re suffering from anything beyond our control, like depression or addiction. We don’t know things we can’t control or anything about a person’s life outside of recovery.

Unlike moral failings or character defects, addiction and other mental disorders are medical conditions. You wouldn’t blame people with physical diseases for having to get their health in order; instead, you would encourage them to see a doctor for help. Similarly, assuring your loved one that you care is an integral part of their healing process.

Many people, especially those with co-occurring mental health conditions or dual diagnoses, go through rehabilitation because of traumatic events like abuse and neglect. It’s always a positive step your loved one takes when undergoing treatment, even as an outpatient and not at a rehabilitation facility, since it may help them better their lives.

Don’t compare them.

It’s normal to compare your loved one to other rehab patients at first. But everyone’s recovery is a different experience and may look different from others. Nobody goes through the same thing. So, comparing someone in recovery to someone else won’t offer you a true sense of their experience.

Just look at how different people experience situations and react to those moments. Some might be experiencing physical pain, while others struggle with emotional issues of varying magnitudes.

Everyone copes with their lived experiences differently, and not just one person deals with a given problem the same way every other individual feels it. The best way to deal with this problem is to be aware of the similarities experienced by all recovering loved ones and pay attention to how they differ.

Don’t undervalue their work.

Remember that recovery is a process if you are a loved one of someone recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. Hear what your loved one has to say and understand that even though others may try to inspire them in ways that appear insulting or invalidate their efforts, you can be more compassionate.

Help your loved ones by continuously pointing out the positive aspects of their lives and any advances you’ve observed since they started rehab to keep moving forward and evolving into who they intended to be. Instead of diminishing their achievements, you should strive to commend them for their efforts and progress. In this manner, you’re demonstrating your support for their recovery and encouraging them to continue.

Do not pity them.

One of the most challenging aspects of addiction is the person’s self-esteem. People with substance use disorder don’t like it when people feel sorry for them. They may begin to assume that you genuinely believe they are weak and incapable of overcoming their addiction. That is one of the worst things you can do to someone recovering. They may feel shame and humiliation due to their drug or alcohol usage and may begin to doubt themselves.

Don’t drive your loved ones into thinking their addiction is worth jeopardizing their potential to turn a corner. People battling addiction need all the aid they can receive, so make sure your words are beneficial without making them feel depressed or demoralizing. Support from loved ones is critical to healing. If you want to assist someone struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, you may educate yourself on the disease, give support, and communicate your love and concern.

It’s difficult to know how to act around a loved one in recovery, especially if your loved one has a lengthy history of addiction. Addiction treatment is not the same as giving up hope. With the correct therapy, a person can regain sobriety and health.