If you have a loved one in a residential treatment program, visiting them can be very valuable to the recovery process.
Maybe it is hard for you to adjust to their absence or maybe their time away has been much needed and restorative for you; in either situation, visiting them can be beneficial to both you and your loved one.
At first, it might feel a little different to see your loved one after they have started the detoxification and recovery treatments because you have become accustomed to how they were when struggling with addiction. Just push through the initial awkwardness; as time passes you will naturally both warm up to each other again and most likely enjoy your time even more so than you did before treatment began.
The following are a few rules from the Aviary Recovery Center on visiting, and some suggestions on how to make the most out of your visit:
Who Can Visit: Up to two family members, close friends or significant others at a time. All visitors must be over 18 years old.
When You Can Visit: You can visit during scheduled visitation times, on Sundays from 1:00-5:00 p.m.
If You Can’t Visit: If you live far away, there are still some ways you can show your support to your loved one. You can write letters or cards and give them to someone who will be visiting the center.
What (Not) To Talk About During Your Visit:
Only if your loved one wants to, you can talk about how the treatment is going, what they like and don’t like, what they think of the grounds or food, what you both look forward to after treatment, and how they are doing.
Your loved one will be discussing all of those topics in depth with therapists and in group sessions, so they might be eager to talk about anything else. You can catch them up on what you and the family have been up to, how everyone’s feeling, how the pets are doing, or on any big or surprising events that have happened while your loved one has been away.
Certainly avoid any topics that might be triggering or offensive to their addiction, and try to steer clear of any sensitive areas. Save those type of talks for when you’re in therapy together or at the Family Wellness Program.
What (Not) To Bring:
Don’t Bring: Any food or beverages or any electronics. Also, try to stay off your phone as much as possible because you only have a set amount of time together and it is important to be respectful of the your loved one’s efforts towards recovery.
Do Bring: Letters or cards (maybe from those that couldn’t visit). Most importantly, bring yourself!!! All that anyone can ask of you is to really be present.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that all of the facility’s rules are in place to protect their clients and to insure the best possible environment for recovery. Respecting the facility’s rules (as a client or a visitor) can improve the treatment process and foster your loved one’s recovery.
Addiction recovery is not easy, and living in a new place is hard for anyone. Visiting your loved one will show that you support their decision and commitment to become sober. Seeing where your loved one is staying and their personal progression can be very encouraging for you. Finally, visiting the residential program will remind both of you that you are not alone.