What to Expect When a Loved One Goes to Treatment

loved one

When your loved one enters treatment for addiction recovery, you may be wondering what to expect. You may have several questions regarding their care and what will occur during their absence from your day-to-day life. Long-term treatment programs might be necessary for lifelong success in recovery. Your loved one will need time to acclimate to their new lifestyle, and building new habits takes time. When your loved one returns, what will be different? Will you also need to make changes to best support them outside of treatment? If you have a partner or a son in treatment, will you be involved in their treatment and recovery?

The Role of the Family

Choice House believes that the family system also needs repairing during recovery. Even when other family members are not struggling with substance use, they may experience some effects of caring for another with an addiction. Addiction can stress the entire family system. The family may have developed unhealthy means of coping with the impact of the addiction in the family. Children may take on different roles during this trying time within their families. Parents may also question themselves – whether they were enabling or not doing enough. 

Rebuilding connections and establishing healthy relationships is paramount to success in recovery. Choice House offers weekend workshops to family members of those in recovery. Stronger families can help those suffering from addiction to thrive with a solid foundation following recovery treatment. Families can develop plans to help their loved ones find success in recovery and be a vital part of the person’s support network in recovery. 

Helping Yourself During This Time

You may be experiencing stress in your life due to the impact that addiction has had on the life of your loved one and family system. You may have some underlying issues that you have neglected to treat due to caring for another. While your loved one is in recovery, you can use this time to take care of your mental health needs. If you neglect your self-care, learn to do this while your loved one is in recovery. You may want to reach out to professional support to help yourself deal with some of the complex emotions you might experience. Loving someone with an addiction can be stressful and challenging. You may feel drained and require care for yourself.

When you take this time to learn coping mechanisms for yourself, you are not selfish. By caring for yourself, you are ultimately going to be doing the best for your loved ones. When you neglect your needs, you might be unable to support those struggling. When the family system is recovering, each individual needs to find their sense of strength and resilience. By caring for yourself, you are also more likely to set an example for other members of your family. You can also join support groups or encourage other members of your family to heal with the assistance of groups like Al-Anon or Alateen. These groups are similar to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous; however, they are specialized to support family members of addicts.  

While Your Loved One is in Treatment

When your loved one is in treatment, you may need to prepare yourself for their absence. What role did your loved one play in the family? How were they helpful to the whole system, and how will you fulfill this need when they are in treatment? You may want to enlist the support of other friends and family members during this time. Even if your loved one had struggles and issues with addiction, they are still a part of your family system. You will likely experience a void in their absence. Long-term recovery offers many benefits to success in recovery. You may need to consider what your life will be like without your loved one for 90 days. You may have limited contact with them, as they will most likely have some contact restrictions during treatment to focus on recovery. 

Helping your loved one through treatment can be transformative for you, your family, and your loved one. You and your loved one can thrive together in recovery. Knowledge and preparation will help you find success. Continue to learn about recovery and addiction, find support for yourself and family, play a role in treatment planning with your loved one, and work on caring for your needs while your loved one is in treatment. Strong connection and relationships can lead to better outcomes for you and your loved one!


If you have a son, husband, partner, boyfriend, brother, or friend dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, they may need treatment. You may be wondering what to expect and how to help your loved one while they are in treatment. You can build yourself up to be a vital part of their support system following recovery. Choice House is here to help men struggling with addiction. We believe that having gender-specific programs leads to better outcomes, as there are biological differences in addiction between men and women. We are also supportive of family and loved ones. Our family workshops can help you learn how to best support your loved one in recovery. We believe that addiction can impact the entire family system, and the family also needs healing at this time. For more information, contact Choice House at (720) 577-4422. We are here to help both you and your loved one find success in recovery!

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