Mount Sinai Wellness Center

How can I support someone who is in inpatient rehab?

It’s a joyous day when people learn that their loved one has decided to seek professional help for their alcohol or drug addiction. After months or even years of watching your friend or family member struggle with addiction, it can be a relief knowing they’re getting the tools they need to get sober and take control of their lives. If your loved one has checked into inpatient rehab, though, you may be wondering what you can do to support someone during this time or prepare to help them when they’re ready to check out.

Our team at Mount Sinai has worked with countless family members before and wants you to know you’re not alone. In fact, a 2017 Pew study found that 46 percent of all U.S. adults have a close friend or family member who’s been addicted to drugs – that’s nearly half of all Americans. We’ve compiled a list of general things that family members or friends can do during this time to be supportive while their loved one is in rehab. Some rehab facilities – like ours – even offer family programs that you can look into and participate in so you can see and communicate with your loved ones if they’re comfortable with seeing you.

Educate Yourself on Addiction

If you’re unable to see your loved one in person while they’re in rehab, now might be a good time to read up on addiction and learn how you can help them keep themselves accountable when they come home. Many family members who have good intentions end up enabling their loved ones when it comes to addiction and relapse. By understanding that recovery is a lifelong process that takes commitment, you can better prepare yourself to help someone when they need it.

Ask the Rehab Center About Family Services

Many rehab centers offer family therapy as an optional activity and at the very least, there may be visitation hours or family days that you can participate in so you can spend time with your loved one. We recommend contacting the rehab center to learn more about these resources – if you have a complex relationship with your loved one, it may be suggested that they spend this time apart from you.

Write a Letter

If you’re not able to visit your loved one for whatever reason, you might be able to send them letters or care packages while they’re in rehab. This can be helpful if your loved one is feeling homesick or discouraged. Letters from home or pre-approved packages containing their favorite snacks or mementos could uplift them during this challenging time. We recommend first checking in with the facility to see if this is an option.

Give Your Home a Sweep-Through

If your loved one lives with you, now might be a good time to clean your home and purge it of any harmful substances or things that may tempt them to begin abusing alcohol or drugs again. Some of these items may include bottles of alcohol, drugs (including those in your medicine cabinet), drug paraphernalia, and more. Some family members might go as far as to purchase things that encourage mindfulness and relaxation for their loved ones like candles or a new journal.

Choose Your Level of Involvement with Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai Wellness Center acknowledges that for many individuals, family involvement is an important part of the healing process. We’ve found that individuals who have supportive family members or households waiting for them when they check out of rehab are more likely to have a smoother recovery process. At our Georgia facility, we offer a variety of options for families to learn more about addiction and connect with their loved ones while they’re still with us.

One of our options includes family therapy, which strives to improve communication and provide families with resources so they can better understand the effects of addiction and how to help prevent relapse. If you wish to visit with your family member or friend, we have established visitation hours every week on Sundays and Wednesdays, and like other rehab centers, we host a family day every second Sunday of the month. Thanks to our host of activities and therapies, family members can choose their level of involvement in the recovery process and understand how they can show up for those they love.