How to Act When Visiting a Loved One in Rehab

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Family participation is instrumental in a person’s recovery. However, you probably have questions about visiting your loved one in treatment. Are you allowed to visit? Can you come at any time? How should you act?

Visiting a Loved One in RehabPhoto Credit: FreeImages.com/DavidRuiz

How We Encourage Family Involvement

The River Source allows family and friends to visit their loved one in rehab after the first week. During the first week, we want our patients to focus on their recovery without any distractions. However, as long as the patient has signed the necessary “release of information” papers, you can call anytime during that first week and get updates on your loved one’s progress.

Though this is probably new for you, know that your involvement is crucial. Family involvement improves communication and builds strong relationships. It can also teach you about your own behaviors and how they could be slowing recovery. By attending family therapy, you may also stop the cycle of abuse in your family.

Dos and Don’ts for Visiting a Loved One in Treatment

Let’s begin with some helpful, practical tips on making your visits most pleasant!

  • Do give your loved one lots of praise and encouragement. They have a long road ahead of them, which they are probably starting to realize. Show them that you support their recovery in full.
  • Don’t bring any outside drama with you. Your loved one doesn’t need to hear about anything negative. Leave the drama at the door.
  • Do visit as often as possible. Even if you cannot visit, call your loved one and let them know that you are thinking of them. The River Source allows our patients to have their laptops and cellphones after the first week.
  • Don’t be sarcastic. This is an emotional time, and sarcasm is not necessary. Be loving and reassuring. It’s what your loved one needs right now.
  • Do be on time for all visits. This shows your loved one that you can be trusted.
  • Don’t focus on the future. Your loved one is being taught to “live in the moment” so don’t bombard them with all the things you plan to do once they are out of rehab.
  • Do coordinate with the staff members. It’s highly beneficial to meet with the team that has been working with your loved one and receive education and insight into the recovery process.

Visiting hours at The River Source are from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Patients are also allowed their computers and mobile phones between the hours of 4:30 pm and 6 pm daily, Arizona time. We strongly encourage participation from family and friends!