Friends are important in one’s life. They are there to support you, but what happens when that friend needs support? What do you do when they’re in rehab for addiction? How can you help them out?
It takes a lot of courage to get into rehab, and it can be hard to connect with friends while they are away. Rehab can be a difficult time for both the addict and their loved ones. It can be hard to know what to do or how to help.
Here are some tips on how to support your friend during rehab.
1. Call And Visit Often
When someone enters rehab, it can be hard for them to get in contact with others. They might not be allowed to use their cellphones or they might not feel like talking.
Even though the experts at Charleston addiction treatment center take full care of their patients, they still recommend that regularly keeping in touch with your friends over at the recovery center can help quicken the recovery process. Your friendship is an important anchor during this time. If your friend isn’t having a good day (or week/month), don’t take it personally, try again another time. Your support will mean everything to them during their time in rehab.
2. Nagging Won’t Help
Your friend might even say they don’t want to be helped. Remember that your friend is going through a lot and trying to get better, and it’s okay to express emotion, especially frustration at their choices. But nagging them won’t help them stay sober or feel closer to you. If you’re not sure what to say, just say you miss them and remind yourself that addiction makes it difficult for people in rehab to see outside themselves at times.
3. Don’t Expect It To Be Easy
If you have a close relationship with your friend, keep their issues with addiction in mind when talking about other things, whenever possible try and avoid topics that could trigger bad memories for your friend. Having to tiptoe around your friend might not be easy at first, but if you remember why they are struggling, it will make it easier. Try to understand what they are going through and what you can do to help them cope with their situation.
4. Keep In Touch
Before your friend went into rehab there is a good chance that you talked to them regularly. When your friend is sober, they’ll probably want to hear from you as much as possible—they may even feel abandoned during their addiction and crave contact with the people who are important to them now that they’re sober. You can keep in touch by phone or email at first and then gradually start hanging out again once your friend feels more comfortable around you — just be sure not to assume what times might be best for them because many people coming out of treatment suffer from insomnia and other sleep problems after detoxing and need all the rest they can get.
5. Know That Not Everything Has To Change
Maybe your friend was addicted to something and now they’re not, but that doesn’t mean their personality has to change completely. Someone who used to be a workaholic, for example, may still enjoy working hard after getting sober. It’s just that now, instead of doing it at all costs, he or she can also take time off for self-care. The same goes for someone who spent years feeling isolated while using drugs—that person can still value her alone time while staying clean without turning to substances for comfort. You can still do the same activities together that you used to do before, and you don’t have to treat your friend any differently.
6. Go To Support Meetings Together
In the beginning, going to a 12-step meeting with your friend can be an opportunity for you both to get out of the house and socialize. Over time, your friend will likely start to introduce you to other people in recovery who become an important part of her support system. Being there for each other during this transitional phase can strengthen your friendship.
If you want to help your friend with addiction, it’s important that they feel loved and supported. You can do this by showing up for them, giving reassurance during their tough days, and reminding them of how much brighter tomorrow will be. Remembering these simple things can make a big difference in the life of someone going through rehab!
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