When a child or a loved one has just completed drug treatment and is coming home after rehab, it can be a time of uncertainty, as well as excitement. Parents want to ensure that their child coming home has as smooth a transition as possible. So what are some of the ways parents can help their children after rehab?
A Plan for Continuing Care
Recovery does not end with the completion of rehab treatment. Addiction is a chronic disease, and as such require active management. Continuing care is a plan for what happens, after rehab is done. For a teen or young adult it might include the following:
- Ongoing communication with their treatment program’s support staff
- Outpatient counseling
- Attending of 12-step meetings or other support groups
- Participation in sober, recreational activities
- Case coordination with their school and probation officers
An aftercare plan should be in place before the child comes home from drug treatment. The parent should talk to professionals at the treatment facility to help determine the best plan for the child’s aftercare. Ideally, a continuing care plan will encourage a combination of regular counseling and therapy sessions moving forward. The treatment professionals may also recommend monitored drug testing and doctor checkups.
Goals and Rules
It is imperative for the parents to set expectations and rules in place as soon as their child is home from rehab. It is ok to let the child talk about what they expect and what their hope for their future in recovery is. Some specific questions to ask might be:
- What is your number one goal now that you are back home?
- Do you want to join any extracurricular activities?
- When do you want to go back to school? Do you want to apply for college?
- Are there any people you want to talk to, any relationships you want to mend, now that you’re sober?
One aspect of long term treatment is to establish goals from the very beginning to serve as a roadmap for recovery.
It may be difficult for the parents to keep up with all of their child’s friends, activities, grades and feelings. But it is important that they do to prevent relapse. The parent must monitor their child and stay aware of what’s going on with their child. Monitoring where the child goes and who they spend time with is paramount. Their activities on social media are also important to be aware of. When the parent knows the signs of relapse, they know what to look for and will realize immediately if their child is in danger of relapsing, and can seek the appropriate help if so.
Finally, the parent must do their best to encourage and always support their child. This is a new chapter in the child’s life, one that comes with a lot of changes. They will need all the help they can get to stay in recovery. Encouraging them to make new sober friends, find new hobbies, ease back into school and establish new priorities for their life is critical and can ensure that the child stays sober.
The Villa provides resources and information for individuals seeking help with addiction treatment and recovery options. If you are feeling anxious, stressed or in need of support, call us. We can help guide you to the right information for best next steps.