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Life After Rehab – How to Support Your Loved One in Recovery

There are many individuals who wonder what life after rehab will be like for their loved ones. The question is often “how can I support my loved one who is in recovery?”

Because living with someone who has undergone rehabilitation can be a very sensitive dynamic, it’s important for us to understand what we can do to support the recovering individual's process as much as we can.

life after rehab

Life After Rehab – Substance Abuse Treatment

Life after rehab is profoundly different for the individual as well as their loved ones. However, by making the relevant changes, it can be made easier.

Although you cannot completely facilitate an individual’s recovery, you can support them by doing the following:

Educate Yourself

Addiction is complex and is motivated or aggravated by various factors. These can include things like:

  • Physical and mental health issues
  • Emotional or environmental triggers
  • Past trauma
  • Psychological, physiological and neurological changes caused by substance abuse

When you understand addiction and how it can affect an individual’s entire life, you will be fully equipped to be supportive and loving during the recovery process.

Prepare for Related Issues

Although sobriety improves most problems faced by former addicts, there are some residual issues that can arise during recovery.

These problems can include:

  • Financial issues
    • Debt
    • Loss of assets such as homes and own transport
  • Health issues
    • Chronic illnesses which require ongoing medical attention
    • Acute conditions which require immediate attention and can be costly
    • Physical injury which hinders daily activity and requires personal care or assistance
  • The prospect of relapse which is always present

By making the necessary preparations for these potential extended issues while your loved one is in rehab, you can lessen the impact they will have later on.

Be Reasonable

It’s natural to expect complete sobriety after rehabilitation. In addition, you may have various other expectations from your loved one who is in recovery.

However, these expectations can place unnecessary pressure on those in recovery. Adapting to a sober life is challenging enough.

What’s more important is to be supportive and accepting during the phases of recovery so that your loved one can feel a sense of achievement rather than disappointment.

Make Some Changes

The environment that an individual in recovery is exposed to can either facilitate their sobriety or make it feel impossible.

There are a few things that you can do to provide a safe space for your loved one to come home to:

  • Encourage positive thinking on a daily basis by highlighting things to be grateful for
  • Remove all addictive substances from the environment
  • Help avoid people, places or scenarios which may be triggering
  • Incorporate physical activity into your daily habits and share them with the individual in recovery
  • Find support groups or new friends who support and encourage a life of sobriety


Although you want to go out of your way to be loving and supportive, it’s extremely important to create and maintain your own boundaries.

This will not only protect you from unnecessary hurt, but it will indirectly support recovery. There is a fine line between supporting a person in recovery or enabling past behaviour which may pave the way to relapse.

Allow yourself to help where you can, but avoid doing everything for your recovering loved one, as this will take away their power to find their feet in their new life of sobriety.

As part of this, you can find support groups for individuals living with or supporting their loved ones in recovery.

These groups allow you to talk about any fears or challenges you may have and can provide you with a new perspective and ideas on how to manage life after rehab.

Step Away – Rehabilitation Centre South Africa

Life after rehab can be challenging for the person in recovery as well as their loved ones. However, with the right support and understanding, the recovery process can be made easier.

If you would like to find out more about how to support your loved one who is in recovery, please feel free to contact us.

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