What should a family or someone close to a person who just got out of a drug and alcohol treatment center expect? We can point out some of the things that you should expect, be aware of, and understand to make this transition a little easier for everyone.
Remember that when someone walks out the doors of the treatment facility they have just begun to start thinking without a mind and brain immersed in alcohol and drugs. Many times as families and loved ones we think that the worst is over. We think, “Well, they’ve stopped using drugs and/or alcohol so everything is going to be ok. “ Stopping the use and abuse is paramount but there is more that has to be done so that the person can stay stopped.
Addicts and alcoholics create a lot of damage. When we look back at their lives before getting sober it looks like the path that a tornado just took. The person in recovery is also looking at that, sometimes for the first time in their lives. They don’t like what they see. It can seem insurmountable. For many this is a trigger to go use. It is really time for that person to start using the tools they learned in treatment.
Clearbrook helps to devise an aftercare program for all of our patients. We ask that they follow this plan stringently. Many times these plans include us setting a person up with a halfway house or another sober living environment. We ask people to make sure they find a 12 step fellowship to start going to. It doesn’t matter which one, we just ask that they go. It is there that they are going to meet the people that can help them. These meetings are where the success of recovery lives. They are going to meet people who were once in the same situations that they are in and how they got through it sober.
There are also some signs to look for that are pointing in the opposite direction. One of the first signs of relapse is that the recovering person doesn’t go to those meetings as much or at all. Depression is also a warning sign. Depression often points to a person not having any hope or faith in their new life. If someone is hanging out with old friends and in old places, bad things usually happen. They happen quickly too. It is not smart for a person that is trying to change everything in their life to go back to the people, places, and things that remind them of using.
You should calmly approach someone who is starting to fall back into their old patterns. If you can talk to the person before they physically relapse then there is a chance that they can “right the ship”. Relapse can and does happen though. If that is the case you should get professional help ASAP. Clearbrook’s admissions staff is on call 24/7 for emergencies like this.
In closing, recovery is a process. It is an on-going process through a lifetime. If a certain set of guidelines are followed by both the recovering person and their loved ones everyone stands a great chance at a new life.