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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Steps to Take Before You Welcome Your Child Home From Addiction Treatment

You’ve been counting down the days until you could welcome your child home from their treatment program. Now that the big day is almost here, you may be feeling like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster. It’s normal for any parent in your position to feel happy, anxious, stressed and excited, sometimes all at once.

While your child will have made a lot of progress in addiction treatment, it’s essential for you to remember that they are only at the beginning of a lifelong process of recovery. It will involve sacrifice for you and your family, and it’s smart to plan for how you will deal with it. Although your daughter or son is ultimately responsible for their success, you can learn how to support them along the way.

1. Remove All Temptations

The first step you should take is to clear all intoxicating substances out of your house. Go through your medicine cabinet and safely dispose of expired or unused prescriptions. Keep any current prescriptions under lock and key. Likewise, remove all alcohol from your home, or take steps to secure it. Take special care to search your child’s room for drugs, alcohol or any paraphernalia.

2. Get Naloxone and Learn How to Use It

If your child’s substance misuse issues stemmed from opioids, having naloxone on hand can be lifesaving. Naloxone, marketed under the brand name Narcan®, is a non-addictive drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a naloxone kit from your drugstore without a prescription. Make sure the naloxone kit is in an easy-to-access place, and that everyone in your family knows how to administer it.

3. Familiarize Yourself With the Aftercare Plan

Whatever your treatment facility recommends for your child’s next steps, make sure you understand the plan and have familiarized yourself with what you need to do to support your son or daughter. For example, you may need to attend counseling as a family, or drive your child to appointments with a therapist. Be willing to take time off from work, if necessary, to fulfill your obligations. Your continued involvement makes a difference, whether your child is willing to acknowledge it or not.

4. Set Reasonable Boundaries

If your child drank or used drugs for a long time, it likely took a heavy toll on your family. The secrecy, denial, manipulation and self-destructive behavior associated with addiction disorders can erode relationships, and it will take time and concerted effort to rebuild. Once your child returns home, setting healthy boundaries can ensure you are developing a foundation of mutual trust. Some families find it helpful to draw up a recovery contract that defines their expectations and outlines consequences for breaking the rules.

5. Be Patient

The earliest days of recovery will probably be the most challenging for everyone involved. Your child will most likely go through periods of emotional upheaval. There will be days where they feel angry, frustrated or distant. Other times, your child may be like the person you remember from before addiction took hold. Be sure to savor the good moments, and be ready to listen on days where the struggle may seem overwhelming. There are no shortcuts in recovery.

Never Give Up

As crushing as it can feel to see your son or daughter wrestling with the burdens of substance misuse, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. At Hope Academy, our team of addiction specialists can help your child turn things around before addiction becomes a way of life. If you are ready to make a fresh start for your family, contact us today.
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