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How to Help Your Child After Rehab

Articles, Education, Treatment, Understanding Addiction

After you have a child return home after completing a stint at rehab, it can be a very confusing time for both of you. While you will obviously be excited at their return, you need to understand that post-rehab can also be very unsettling. Initially, your child may feel at odds with their surroundings, even though the setting is familiar to them. They have undergone a huge life change after all.

The main question that parents want to know is “how can I best support them”

Although every situation is going to be different, the guidance in the article should be able to help you with the transition.

Continued Care is Required

Unfortunately, completing time at rehab is not a magic cure that ensures your child will be sober the rest of their life. Addiction is a chronic disease which your child must learn to manage. Managing this disease will be a lot easier with continued care and support from their loved ones.

Aim to work with your child to set up a plan for the future. The plan may include meeting with a trained therapist every so often or entering into a 12-step program. It is recommended that counselling and therapy sessions are encouraged more frequently in the beginning, especially the first 90 days. The plan can also include things such as diet and exercise as well as steps to avoid certain triggers in life.

Set Future Goals

A new path begins when your child steps out of rehab so ensure that you have a talk about the future and what lies ahead. Start setting rules and goals. Ask them about their own vision of the future and how you can play a part in helping them with these goals.

Maybe they want to start some new hobbies or learn some new skills. There is a possibility that your child may also want to talk about their relationships and how they were affected by their addiction. Maybe they feel that they need to build some bridges with certain people. Use these goals as an indicator of how they are coping.

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Be Vigilant and Aware of Their Lifestyle

It is important that you are aware of what is happening in your child’s life. This will require communication between you both as well as trust. It might also lead to some frustration on your child’s part as they may not want you to know all about their everyday movements.

However, being aware of who your child is spending time with and what they are getting up to is important. They need to keep away from old habits and social patterns. It is important that you know the signs of relapse. These may include a continual feeling of negativity about their life and apathy towards their recovery. Some people also show signs of arrogance regarding their addiction and act prideful that they have beaten it. This can cause an overconfidence that eventually leads to temptation and relapse.

Hopefully the above guide will help you in supporting your child going forward. Remember, the most important thing is to help your child accept their new life. Encourage them to pursue sober activities such as sports that can lead to meeting new friends who won’t drag them down. Also encourage them to stay in contact with any friends that they made during the time in rehab. Starting afresh opens up the door to new interests and goals.

As a parent you must offer full support and be ready to listen or offer a shoulder to cry on when needed. Help you child succeed as maintaining sobriety is very tough.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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