It’s difficult being someone who has just come out of rehab, despite all of the things you have achieved within it. And it’s also difficult being a friend of that person. After all, someone who has recently overcome their addiction is going to be going through a lot of changes still – the work, in many respects, only just starts once someone has left the rehab center.
So if you are a friend of someone who has just finished their treatment at a drug rehab, you might be curious what to expect and in particular, how to treat them. In this article, we’ll give you a helping hand with this, so you know exactly how best to treat and talk to your friend.
Expect Emotional Turmoil
You might wish for your friend to simply be happy that they have completed rehab. But in truth, it’s more likely that they are experiencing a whole whirlwind of emotions. The better prepared you are for that, the better that you will be able to be there for them, so you should endeavor to expect a great deal of emotional turmoil in your friend’s mind. As long as you are ready for that and you are prepared, you’re more likely to know what to do and say around them – and less likely to be overwhelmed yourself.
Avoid Using Around Them
If you happen to use any drugs, then you should absolutely avoid using them around the individual in question – especially but not limited to the drug that they have just recovered from. You might even want to avoid drinking alcohol around them, especially if you know that this has often been something of a gateway drug for them in the past. Just aim to spend time with each other in a clean and sober way, and before you know it you should find that they are having a much easier time of recovery with you.
Spend Time With Them
As long as you are not drinking or using drugs, then you should aim to spend plenty of time with your friend. This is important for a number of reasons. First of all, the busier they are with activities of various kinds, the less likely they are to relapse. Secondly, there is a good chance that you lost your friend to the drug for perhaps many years – so you might as well make good use of the time you have now and use it to do all the things you wish you had been doing in the past. You might be able to develop your friendship further this way, and there is a chance you will both enjoy it a great deal.
Be Respectful Of Their Boundaries
As part of their recovery, they might well have had to set up some stricter boundaries than they had before. It’s important that, when they enforce these boundaries, you don’t take it personally, and that you are respectful of their need to set and enforce those boundaries. The more that you respect and allow those boundaries, the greater a chance they have of avoiding relapse. This is one of the most important things you need to do to ensure that you are treating your friend as they need to be treated.
Encourage Their Recovery
In general, just make sure that you are doing everything you can to encourage your friend’s recovery in whatever way that might be possible. This can be in the sense of simply telling them you are proud of them, or carrying out all of the things listed above. As long as you are encouraging them, they are going to feel a lot more respected, and they’ll be able to have an easier time of recovering into the future. Again, remember that for them the hard work has only really just begun upon leaving the rehab center.
Talk To Them – If They Want To
If they want to talk about their addiction and subsequent recovery, then be an ear for them and talk to them about it. But if they would rather put it all behind them, then that’s fine too, and it might be better not to constantly bring it up in conversation. It’s important that they are not made to feel awkward about it, in any case – but make sure that you are clear that you’re always there to talk if they need it.
If you or your friend want to find out more about drug rehab, get in touch as soon as possible.