- 1 What to do during a visit of a family member in rehab
- 2 What not to do during a visit of a family member in rehab
- 3 Takeaway message
However, this experience is different from your regular social gatherings or visiting someone sick at the hospital. You see, people in rehab are constantly fighting the cravings of getting back to their addiction (e.g., drugs, alcohol), which makes every visit sensitive and special.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of visiting family members in rehab centers as well as the dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
What to do during a visit of a family member in rehab
Make frequent visits
You need to ensure that you are right there when they need you to help them get over this crisis. Many addicts look forward to family visits as a way to distract themselves from the constant cravings they have.
When you miss a visit or abandon them altogether, you will leave them fighting alone.
According to one study, visiting a family member in rehab has been shown to improve their compliance to medication and therapeutic techniques.
Arrive on time
Generally speaking, rehab centers run on a tight schedule. Therefore, there is limited time for family visits and other social events.
If you arrive late, you will probably reduce the duration of the visit or cancel it. This will negatively impact their recovery.
You see, addicts go through a rough time during recovery while trying to fight their cravings. Consequently, they become quite sensitive to everything around them, including a late or a missed visit that may translate to a lack of interest and care.
Encourage and support them
The frequent praising of your family member for their courage to commence rehab and get a hold of their life is vital.
When you mention how much courage is required to start rehab, it will serve as a reminder of why they started this journey in the first place.
Say hi to the staff
The staff working in the rehab center are the people that your family member is interacting with for most of the day.
For this reason, you should be sure to meet them, thank them for their hard work, and inquire about the progress made by your loved one. You could also ask them about a potential discharge date based on their current status in the rehab program.
Talk about the news and the weather
Talking about the news in your country and the state of the weather is a healthy way to keep the conversation going when you run out of things to say.
This type of small talk will also make your loved one feel normal for a few minutes and distract them from their cravings, as well as the fact that they’re in a rehab center.
What not to do during a visit of a family member in rehab
Don’t bring up negative events or drama
Spending days, weeks, or months in a rehab center means you’re going to be fighting cravings and going through detoxification methods that bring you a lot of stress. The last thing you need during a family visit is to hear bad news or worry about family drama.
The conversation in this setting needs to be loving, caring, and supportive.
Don’t talk about weight problems
People with addiction problems also suffer from severe weight loss and low body mass index. Fortunately, this issue is reversible as they start gaining weight during rehab.
Talking about how they are becoming more chubby will not help them in any way. On the contrary, it might trigger some passive-aggressive behavior that ruins the entire visit.
At the same time, pointing out that they are not gaining weight despite spending weeks or months in the rehab center will also do no good.
Instead, focus on talking to them about their overall health and how they feel after spending some time in the center.
Don’t bring up money problems
As you may know, paying for a rehab center is quite expensive, especially if the stay is prolonged due to complicated addiction problems.
Repeatedly complaining about having money problems will only trigger guilt in the addict by making him/her think that they are the reason behind your money issues.
You should also avoid mentioning the money you are paying for the rehab center.
Don’t say negative things about the rehab center or the other patients
While it is important to make sure that your family member is staying in a healthy, safe environment, do not go around making sarcastic comments about the rehab center or the other addicts.
This behavior is not helpful to recovery as it can be a source of feeling ashamed or embarrassed.
Don’t brag about your achievement and future plans
While visiting a family member with addiction problems, it is important to keep them included in your life by sharing stories and spreading a few smiles.
However, flaunting about how successful you are or how much money you are making is a big no.
You see, most rehab centers teach their clients to focus on the moment and avoid worrying about the future. Additionally, their current situation may seem like stagnating in one place without advancing in life.
For this reason, you need to be more considerate about what you say.
Note that you don’t need to obsess about hiding your success stories, as it’s part of your life; you just need to it in moderation.
Visiting a family member in a rehab center is a unique experience that requires some basic knowledge about the dos and don’ts to avoid hurting anyone or making the visit unpleasant.
We hope that this article managed to shed some light on the important points during a visit to the rehab center.
If you have any questions, concerns, or a personal story that you want to share with us, please don’t hesitate to do so in the comment section below.