Residential treatment stands out as a potent weapon in the battle against addiction, offering a secure haven where individuals can distance themselves from the substances that have gripped them for so long. Within this protective environment, they can confront their challenges and life’s hardships with unwavering support and vigilant supervision.

It’s essential to understand that residential treatment demands significant effort and can pose formidable challenges for many. However, it equips clients with invaluable tools, enabling them to construct a sturdy foundation for their recovery journey.

But what transpires when an individual concludes their residential treatment and returns to their home environment? Is there a risk of relapse into old patterns? If you have a loved one soon to complete residential treatment, it’s crucial to ensure you’ve taken all necessary steps to prepare for the journey that lies ahead.

Focus on Family Therapy First

One of the first things to work on, both during and after residential drug addiction treatment, is family therapy. Therapy allows families to work together on the recovery process, addressing challenges in communication and any past or ongoing trauma. You’ll learn to talk about what you’re feeling in a way that fosters understanding, and you’ll learn more about what addiction is and what makes recovery difficult.

Minimize Risks at Home

There’s no way to eliminate all the risks and triggers your loved one will be exposed to at various points in their life. But when it comes time to return home, here are some steps you can take to make the home environment a safer zone.

  • Remove any substances from your home. Don’t hide them. Remove them.
  • Don’t allow people visiting your home to bring substances into it.
  • Make sure those living in your home understand that it is a drug-free zone.

Creating this type of safe zone may seem like a burden, especially if others in the family enjoy alcohol. But the reality is that your loved one is battling for their life. Limiting your alcohol use to places that are not your home is worth it. There may come a time when your loved one feels strong in their recovery and is comfortable with having substances in the home but give them at least a year to find their footing.

Create and Maintain Boundaries

Setting boundaries helps to ensure everyone within the home understands their role in the addiction recovery process. Here are some ideas:

  • Make a rule that no matter the anger or pain, everyone will treat each other with respect.
  • Agree with your loved one on how many recovery meetings they’ll attend each week and what will happen if they start to slack off.
  • Welcome conversations about substance abuse. Be sure everyone in the home understands that it’s okay to talk about what they’re feeling.
  • Provide support. This does not mean doing everything for your loved one but rather working to support their unique needs at this time. Encourage them to open up. Let them know you are there to help.
  • Ensure there’s a rule of no alcohol or drug use in the home by anyone. Don’t tolerate or accept anyone coming home intoxicated.
  • Save discussions of the past for therapy sessions. Put aside blame. If your loved one knows you support them and forgive them, they will be better able to forgive and care for themselves.

Work every day towards creating a peaceful and supportive environment for everyone in the home. Make sure that each person understands they are valuable in this fight against addiction.

Recognize the Risks of Relapse

Those living within the home are the first line of defense when it comes to relapse. They have the ability to spot warning signs of relapse and help a person with addiction to get help sooner. Warning signs include:

  • Talking about drug use or substance misuse in a positive way. “I remember how much fun it was…”
  • Discussing or looking for substances in the home or asking where substances went
  • Isolation and withdrawal from others, often spending a lot of time alone
  • Mood swings that are more frequent or volatile than usual
  • Evidence of use, including paraphernalia or being high or intoxicated

If you notice any risk factors, contact your loved one’s therapist immediately. You should have a plan in place to get them help.

Know the Role You Play

It can feel unfair to have to alter your life because of another person’s needs, especially if you believe they could have avoided their disease. But addiction is insidious and life-threatening. Your loved one needs a place to live that provides a welcoming, safe foundation for rebuilding.

Let Our Team Prepare You and Your Loved One for a New Life

Ivory Plains Recovery Center provides a wide range of drug addiction treatment in Iowa. Make today the day you reach out for help.

If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction, help is available. Call Ivory Plains Recovery Center, located in Adair, Iowa, and speak to a caring professional. We will answer your questions and help you take the first step toward living your life free of drugs or alcohol.


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