Note: This is from writer B.H. sharing her experiences of what it’s like to have a child going to rehab and the feelings she experienced during this time.
What’s It Like When Your Child Goes to Rehab?
When your child enters a drug rehabilitation center, it may be a time that is filled with many different emotions. You may find yourself asking, “How in the world did my child get here?” You will be going through so many different feelings, but one of them will be relief. Sheer relief. You will be relieved that your child is safe, warm, fed, and alive. And that is just the beginning of the positivity.
When I speak of a child, it can be a young adult child, but nonetheless, as mothers, we all know that no matter the age, your child is still your child. Be proud that your dearly loved one is getting the help needed, and there is still so much hope and possibilities ahead.
When my son entered rehab, I felt like I was 50 pounds lighter (emotionally, of course!). I felt like I had a chance at life, and this life would be positively different. His father took him that day, and as he entered the facility with his dad, he assured him he would do his very best to get better. That was all I needed to hear. My heart instantly warmed up again, and I was no longer feeling the pain of emptiness inside. Instead, it was filled with hope and a lot of smiles!
Every rehabilitation center has different procedures and rules. My son was able to call me three times a week for ten minutes each time. And he did. He called me, and at first it wasn’t so good. He was going through withdrawal and was on edge. I told him that he didn’t need to call me for a few days because I understood that he needed to heal and it was okay not to talk to anyone. Visiting hours are also in place at many of the facilities, and some do require you to take an addiction and recovery class before meeting with your child.
Don’t Be Ashamed!
If you have a child who has chosen to enter a drug rehabilitation center, first off, be proud. Hold your head up high because it was his choice to do this. There are many different types of drug rehabilitation facilities; some are completely Christian-based, some are more regimented and strict, and some are in-between. Certain places offer counseling and therapy in more than one addiction, and some offer services for mental health issues as well as addiction. There are some that allow the recovering addict to use tobacco products and some that do not. When looking for the rehabilitation place that is ideal for your loved one, it is important to focus on his needs and go from there. Luckily, there are many different centers to choose from, even if it means your son or daughter needs to go out of state.
Your Child is Healing
It is important to understand that inpatient recovery programs are there for your loved one to get past the addiction and heal. This means that you should probably hold back on any negative talk to your child and let the counselors do their job. Your child will be going through classes tailored to the drug of choice, from alcohol to opioids to heroine. He will be attending individual counseling, group therapy, mindfulness exercises, and alone time to just think about life and the realities of addiction. Understand that just because you want to talk to your son or daughter does not mean that they want to talk to you. They may have a lot going on in their minds, and would prefer to just remain silent and in their thoughts.
There is a lot going on in rehab concerning your loved one. The crucial thing is that your child is learning how to live a daily life without drugs and alcohol. This is intense and very difficult for anyone who is addicted to substances. Understand that it takes immense strength to not walk out the front doors and live a life of addiction. Be patient and supportive of the programs, keep it positive, and before you know it your child will be drug and alcohol free!