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Going to an addiction treatment center is your loved one’s best choice for beginning a healthy, substance-free life. Still, you might feel uncertain about what happens next or wonder how you can keep in touch during the process. Fortunately, many treatment centers allow friends and family to call, write letters, or send texts to their loved ones. Writing to someone in rehab can help you show your support and let your loved one know that you’ll be there for them when they are discharged. If you’re unsure what to say, explore some of the following ideas before drafting your letter.
What to Say to Someone In Rehab
When it comes to a loved one experiencing change in their life, the right words can make all the difference. Here are some supportive words to say to someone in rehab:
1. I’m Proud of You
One of the most encouraging things you can say to someone in treatment is that you are proud of them. It’ll show your loved one that you recognize their positive strides and believe in their ability to change. These words might also encourage them to release any worries they might have about the future. Express how proud you are that they’ve entered a treatment program and continue celebrating each new milestone in their recovery journey, no matter how small.
2. What Can I Do to Support You?
Many studies reveal the importance of a strong support system in recovery. An easy way to show your support is by asking your loved one what you can do to help. Doing so can help them feel more in control of their situation and less alone throughout the treatment process. They’ll feel validated knowing you will be there during the ups and downs of the recovery journey.
3. How Are You Feeling?
Sometimes, a loved one might need someone to ask how they are feeling. When prompted, your loved one may feel more comfortable expressing their emotions. They’ll also know they can turn to you in times of need, gaining the confidence they need to overcome obstacles and work on recovery.
4. I’m Here for You
Many people with substance use disorder withdraw from those closest to them in favor of obtaining substances. They might also do so to avoid feelings of judgment and shame. It can be difficult to heal and move forward without the important people in their lives. If you’re unsure what to say to someone in rehab, letting them know you are there for them can motivate them to continue. Your loved one will have good days and bad days, but these words can provide comfort and relief in times of uncertainty.
5. What Are Your Goals?
A great way to empower a loved one’s recovery journey is by reminding them they have a bright future ahead. Ask them about their treatment goals and what they plan to work on after completing their program. Making your loved one think about the future can motivate them to keep going and meet new goals.
6. I Believe in You
Many people in treatment experience feelings of self-doubt or insecurity. Express your beliefs in your loved one’s abilities to change. Let them know that you are rooting for them and optimistic that they can maintain sobriety — your confidence in their abilities could empower them to face any difficulties they’re encountering. Saying that you believe in them can be just what they need to hear to push through and complete their treatment program.
7. Recovery Comes First
It’s common for loved ones in treatment to worry about the outside world or what might be happening at home. While they may have work, school, and other responsibilities outside of treatment, they should understand that recovery is their top priority. Provide updates, but remind them that recovery comes first. Reminding them of this frequently enough can help them believe in themselves and their ability to change.
8. What Have You Learned?
Sometimes, everyone in treatment needs a friend who genuinely cares about their recovery journey. Let your loved one know that you can be that friend for them by expressing interest in their treatment. Ask them what they’ve learned to get an idea of how far along they are in the treatment program and to offer words of encouragement. Take an active interest in their post-treatment plans, including any support groups they’ve joined or new hobbies they plan to participate in.
9. Take Things One Day at a Time
Addiction recovery is a lifelong process that takes effort and perseverance. If you’re unsure what to say to someone in treatment, remind them to take things one day at a time. When meeting obstacles or dealing with self-doubt, these words can help ease their nerves and empower them to stick with treatment.
10. I’m Looking Forward to the Future
Express your excitement about your loved one’s future. Let them know that you are looking forward to them coming home and emphasize the benefits that treatment can have on their life. Remind them of celebrations coming up, such as birthdays or anniversaries, and all the exciting milestones you’ll soon be celebrating together. Thinking about the future can be a powerful source of motivation for people in treatment.
11. I Love You
One of the most powerful things you can say to someone in drug or alcohol addiction recovery is that you love them. Though simple, these three words can help them begin the healing process. Knowing that someone cares about them and is rooting for their recovery journey can also help them release any lingering guilt they might have about the past. Speak from the heart and show that you care about your loved one’s emotional well-being. You’ll make a significant difference in their overall recovery.
Gain Family Support and Resources at Gateway Foundation
While addiction treatment can be challenging for a loved one, you can make the process a lot easier by offering your support. And if you’re unsure what to say, remember that even a few simple words of encouragement can make a significant difference in their recovery. At Gateway Foundation, we offer family support and services to those with loved ones in addiction treatment. From educational programming to family counseling, you can gain the tools to strengthen communication and improve the bonds within your family.
Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment services and programs.