5 Dos and Don’ts of Visiting a Relative Who’s in Rehab

Health & Fitnessby Mashum Mollah04 October 2019


When a loved one needs to enter rehab, it’s a good idea to visit them frequently to check on how they’re doing and to provide support as they work on their recovery. However, it is crucial to be careful when visiting to avoid making them feel bad or guilty about their stay as that could make it harder for them to get through the treatment program. Before you visit for the first time, understand what you should and shouldn’t do during the visits to help your loved one with their recovery.

Don’t be Negative – Do be Supportive

From the first day when checking into rehab to the last day they’re there, it’s crucial to avoid being negative. The journey to recovery is already difficult and they might be scared of what to expect as they go through the rehab program. They already have enough worries about their addiction and whether they will be getting all of the help they need to recover. Negative talk about them, the program, or their addiction can make them feel a lot worse about their past and whether they can successfully complete their recovery.

Instead, be as supportive as possible. Be careful with everything said to avoid any negative thoughts and work to talk to them about how great it is that they’re working on their recovery. Remind them that they’ve made the right choice by deciding to get help and be encouraging as they take this step. While it’s hard to watch every word said during the visits, make sure to be as supportive as possible during every discussion with them. The more supportive you can be, the more it will help them.

Don’t Mention the Cost of Rehab – Do Offer Praise for How They’re Doing

Some people will inadvertently start talking about how expensive the rehab facility is. They might think that letting the person know just how much is being spent will encourage them to work harder on their recovery, but this often has the opposite impact. Instead of motivating them to get as much as possible for the cost, it ends up making them feel guilty about the money being spent on them.

Instead, talk about how well they’re doing in the rehab facility. Let them know they’re doing an excellent job and talk to them about how this was a fantastic decision for them. Alcohol rehabilitation services can be extremely beneficial for those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, but it is a lot of hard work. Let them know that you see the hard work they’re doing and that you appreciate how much time and effort they’re putting into their recovery.

Don’t Talk Negatively About Changes – Do Mention Positive Changes

Those who are going through rehab will go through many changes as they learn to live without drugs and alcohol, such as gaining a little bit of weight. This is usually a good thing, as they’re working on being healthier, but it’s all too easy to point out negative changes without meaning to be negative and hurt their feelings. Talking about negative changes, however, can make them feel bad about how they’re doing in the program and the changes they’re experiencing.

Instead, make sure to notice positive changes about them and compliment them during the visits. Make sure any discussion over the changes they’re experiencing is done in a positive light and that they understand that you’re happy about the changes. Instead of talking about their weight, for instance, talk about how they look a lot healthier and happier.

Don’t Talk About Their Treatment – Do Be Involved Where Possible

When relatives visit loved ones in rehab, the topic generally turns to the treatment they’re receiving and how they’re doing in the program. However, it might not be a good idea to discuss the specifics of their treatment. This is very personal and they may not want to update their relatives by discussing every detail of their struggles and what they do each day in the facility.

Instead, make sure to be involved where possible. This helps you learn more about the rehab program, what your loved one is going through, and how to help them. Check with the rehab facility to learn more about the various ways to be involved during the rehab process or to learn about how to make sure you’re doing as much as possible to support your loved one during this time.

Don’t Talk About What They’re Missing – Do Bring Things to Make Them More Comfortable

When loved ones visit, talk invariably turns to what’s happening outside the facility. It’s all too easy to slip into normal conversations like the vacation has taken last week or what happened at the store. However, discussions like these are more likely to make the person going through rehab feel like they’re missing out on a lot while they’re in the treatment program. Despite wanting to tell them everything that’s happening outside of the rehab, it’s usually a good idea to save these stories for catching up after their treatment is over.

Instead, bring things to give them that might make their rehab experience more comfortable. Always check with the facility before bringing anything as there are likely rules about what the person can and cannot have while they’re in treatment. However, if it is allowed, they might like a box of chocolates, their favorite blanket, or a comfy pillow. If you want to bring photos for them to look at, lean towards photos of nature instead of family photos from the last vacation.

While a loved one is going through rehab, it’s important to be as supportive as possible. Though they are getting the help they need, this is still going to be a difficult time in their life and they have a lot of hard work ahead of them. Use the tips here to make the most of every visit and remember to visit frequently. This will help them get through their recovery and continue to recover once they’re home.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at thedailynotes.com/.

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