Children are beautiful creatures. They are beloved to their parents from the moment their eyes meet (most of the time) and are bonded with their family. Due to addiction to drugs or alcohol, this may cause a rupture in the family structure. It may be difficult to deal with a child who is wayward, acting in difficult ways and struggling with addiction, but they are not wholly in charge. The drugs and substances take over their brain and body, changing their behavior and thought patterns, even habits. It is normal to feel afraid when they come back from treatment about what they will be like or how to respond to them. The best way to support an adult child coming home from rehab is to set up the environment in the most supportive way possible.
Order the House
When the house does not feel like it is in order, then the rest of a person’s life can feel difficult. Recovery is hard for everyone involved. The family may feel like they need some order to keep things moving smoothly. The person returning home may not have lived in the home for a while but needs a safe space to land while they recover from treatment and move slowly forward. Maybe there was tension in the home prior to attending treatment and this makes it challenging to return home again. Housecleaning can help clear old energy and clutter, get things organized, and build a supportive environment for the people in the home. This means getting rid of paraphernalia and triggering substances from plain sight. Put things away, throw them out, and get rid of anything that might hinder their progress in recovery. Lock up medicines and dispose of unused prescriptions.
Aftercare is a Priority
To fully understand treatment recommendations, check in with the facility prior to their homecoming. Know what the plan is, be involved, where possible, with its development and know-how to help implement without overstepping boundaries. Aftercare plans must include therapy for the family, outpatient programming, recovery groups, community support, same-gender groups where desired, and medication support. Keep in mind:
- If the person cannot drive or take public transit (or get rides) they need to get to and from the group. Making arrangements to help or supporting them through this transition will be key
- Take time off work were needed to help with childcare, support for recovery, family therapy, and more
- Plan to just be with them, organize time together that is fun and playful, and offer to help organize family events that are sober-friendly and helpful to their recovery
- Healthy activities and hobbies will be necessary to their healing journey so offer to help locate those if they feel stuck
Start with a Plan
The plan does not have to follow the aftercare plan to a ‘tee,’ it is a separate plan that will, instead, support healthy boundaries and rules. Some families find it helpful to develop a contract that supports positive reinforcement and rewards for good behavior. The contract should be part of a healthy recovery plan. It may follow the aftercare support plan but will focus on the family’s role in helping them like how to deal with communication challenges or breakdowns, how to be a better listener, and how to engage with them in ways that are not triggering to recovery.
Own it Day by Day
Families never get anything one hundred percent right or perfect. Humans are fallible and prone to mess up from time to time. Families are also part of the recovery journey and are responsible for helping each other navigate the ins and outs of getting back on their feet again. Even if they relapse, the family can be there to offer support. When they come home, they can help be the best people they can be while supporting the recovery journey. What it means to take it day by day is to know the journey does not end suddenly because they are home. Treatment is one step in the recovery journey. All the other steps are important for them and for the family. They should follow their hearts in deciding what to do, but ultimately, they should bring their best selves to the table and offer their love and support to the adult child with addiction.
Locating hope in the midst of change is hard. It is possibly one of the hardest aspects of recovery. Hope is not easy to find when everything is up in the air and the adult child in recovery is fighting aspects of it at home. They may not like more boundaries from parents they haven’t been around for a while and maybe they resent giving up the old life for this new one. The problem is not so much that they are giving up things as they are gaining a new opportunity to invest in their healing journey after putting substances in their system for a long time. They may have mental health issues to address. Be kind to them and practice good self-care, too. Caregivers often need a lot of that to heal. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other families for support and help. They will be of great comfort when needed and support for the ups and downs.
Casa Capri is designed by women for women in recovery. Treatment can be gender-responsive to a woman’s needs and give them the support that helps them find healing. When things are rough, it may seem hard to reach out. Don’t hesitate to call us to see how we can help your adult child navigate recovery from addiction. Call Casa Capri today: 844-593-8020
Melissa Holmes Goodmon is the founder and CEO of Casa Capri Recovery, a leading California addiction treatment center created just for women—by women. Melissa is a licensed clinician and has stayed on the cutting edge of women’s treatment since 2006. Because of her own beautiful recovery story, she is proud to be among a small group of trailblazers since founding Casa Capri Recovery for Women in 2011, leading the way for other women to join them in this otherwise male-dominated industry. She is considered an advocate for the recovery community in the truest sense, standing up to discrimination and legally fighting for the rights of sober people in recovery to live in peace. To learn more about advocacy or if you’ve experienced discrimination, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out casacaprirecovery.com for more information on our program, or please give us a call at 844-207-4880.