How You Can Help a Friend During Rehabilitation

Updated on September 8, 2020

Although it is one of the victories of a person to finish a rehabilitation program, going through rehab is truly a struggle. As friends or family of a person who is going through rehab or who just got out of a rehabilitation centre, we play a vital role in support his/her recovery.

It is important that we appreciate the step grr loved one has made towards shifting to a healthier and better lifestyle. As it is a struggle to undergo rehab, here are different ways of helping a loved one:

1. Be a long-term support system.

It has been proven that those who have strong support systems throughout their journey to recovery suffer fewer risks of dropping out which also leads to having greater chances of completing the rehabilitation process. As a long-term support system, we must be there for them not only during rehab, but also after, so relapses become less likely to happen.

2. Acceptance is key.

For people who have an addiction to either behaviour or substance, there have most probably been relationships lost due to the changes addiction has brought in their lifestyle. One of the difficult tasks as a friend or family member is to accept the pain of yesterday, and the pain of the now as it is possible that your loved one may not become the same person they were before. We have to accept that progress is progress even the simplest ones.

3. Take Care of Yourself

As the saying goes, “you cannot give what you don’t have.” Having a family member of a friend can truly be draining. Sometimes, it can be hard to be there for a friend in need when you have some things also affecting you as well such as stress, and other problems. It is best that you’re as okay as you can be so you can help your friend or family member. Moreover, taking care of yourself also means protecting yourself. People with addiction may or may not intend to hurt others, but there are tendencies that they can be abusive. It is important to protect yourself and address this firmly with your friend or family member without being threatening.

4. Gain support for your loved one from others.

As support systems are one of the factors that indicate success in rehabilitation, it would be really helpful if you can encourage other people who have played a big role in their lives over the years. More so, as hard enough as having to go through withdrawals which may have unpleasant symptoms like fever, dizziness, and more, while also struggling to stop oneself from urges, people who are under rehabilitation programs may also face financial challenges after the rehabilitation process. One of the ways you or others can really help and show support is help paying for rehab. After rehab, you can also guide them in looking for jobs or for ways they can spend their time productively while enjoying whatever activity it may be as well. Ask other friends and family members to have constant hangouts with your friend as a way to show support while also checking up on him/her.

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