Family Support While Attending Drug Rehab

Family Support 101, Should I set healthy boundaries during family support? How? 

Family support is key to recovery, however you must set boundries. Boundaries are key for families in early recovery is a big step in family support! Your loved one should feel heard and supported, but also know that you won’t overlook warning signs if you feel they are in trouble and you will speak out to their treatment facility team or therapist. Even more critically, they should know that voicing your concerns is not punitive against them, but about ensuring their own safety! Many lives have been saved by families who get involved with treatment professionals and act as partners on the journey to recovery.

If you have concerns about your loved one being too private, their friends, their phone connections–say something. If you have concerns about their whereabouts or daily activities during recovery–bring this up! Clients who are dedicated to moving beyond addiction often have to let go of some ideas about what they have to share with others–they should want to be an open book for those who love them to feel secure that they are safe! If you have other ideas about specific boundaries that you feel are important for your loved one, ask if you can submit those ideas to the treatment team. 

Family Support, Do You Need It While Attending Drug Rehab?  

Family support plays a big rold in the recovery process. If your loved one is in addiction treatment, you probably have a million questions. Especially if they have selected a treatment program that isn’t the standard 12 step treatment most people are familiar with, as more and more people worldwide are. Clients who choose a mindfulness-based addiction treatment like Centered Recovery may have gravitated towards it because this is one of the few programs that doesn’t require clients to identify as an addict. Clients may also choose Centered because it doesn’t require giving up to any higher power. Other clients have chosen to work with Centered Recovery because they have tried the 12 step route in the past and found that, like countless others worldwide, it did not work for them. 

While family members cautiously excited for their loved one to embark on a recovery journey. Without familiarity of the program’s tenets and teachings, it can be a little nerve-wracking to know how to show family support someone going through it. Below are some common questions asked by loved ones of clients in our treatment program, along with our current answers. If you have any other direct questions, feel free to email me at Krista.smith@centeredrecovery.com. We pledge to answer as many questions as possible and continue to update this document for future families to use as a resource!

Did I do something wrong to cause drug and alcohol addiction? 

On average, humans feel guilty about five hours per week, every week. That’s a huge chunk of time to spend feeling this way! Families in recovery often battle with their own guilt over what they did or could have done differently for their loved one. If you feel as though you did something wrong, the answer is, probably not.

We all make mistakes. We are human, and this is the nature of learning. We are all usually answering life in the best way we know how at the time, with the information and resources we have at our disposal in any given moment. Which means, yes, sometimes, you made the wrong call. You may have snapped at someone who didn’t deserve it, or you weren’t as available as you might have been for someone who did. But that’s okay.

We teach our clients that grace for ourselves and for our loved ones is the greatest gift we can give anyone. Understanding that errors aren’t wasted if we learn from them and are able to do better in the future makes all the difference. Addiction isn’t anyone’s “fault”.

How can I show family support for my loved one while thay are attending a substance abuse rehabilitation center in Atlanta?

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The most frequent question we get asked is how to show family support to a person while they are enrolled at our drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers in Atlanta?. The answer sounds simple, but we understand that it can be much more complex in reality. Listen and be patient. Listen to what they are going through. They may be struggling with guilt, with cravings, with immense stress and desire to get their “old life” back.

They may be frustrated with themselves for all their shortcomings one minute, and incredibly proud of their own hard work the next. Recovery, especially early recovery, can be a roller coaster of emotional and physical health. While you may be more than ready to resume “normal life” with your loved one, please understand that people in early recovery still need quite a bit of time to adjust. Imagine your loved one had a broken ankle.

You would never insist they get right back up and start walking again, right? Of course not! You would understand that they would likely need lots of rest, time to heal, and many weeks with a cast, crutches, or a scooter to help them get around until their ankle was well enough to support their activities once more.

In fact, walking on a broken ankle too soon would likely re-injure it and cause even worse injury. Early recovery is no different. Patience is key to family support. If you need to speak to someone about your fears, your desires, your heartaches–by all means, please do! But try not to lean too much on one with emotional crutches for now. 

Notice your own expectations with family support! 


At the same time, however, you should be aware of your own expectations for your loved one. Understand that these aren’t always what will or even should happen. This is a big one in family support. We all have ideas of how the people we love should act, look, and respond, and we are surprised when they don’t meet our image of them. But every recovery journey is completely unique. No one has the same history, the same upbringing, the same knowledge and understanding of life at any given point, not even the people we feel the closest with. While there are some patterns in a recovery journey, not everyone follows the same path.

At Centered Recovery outpatient drug rehabs Atlanta, progress is perfection. Some clients do “relapse”, especially in early recovery, and often it takes just once for them to prove to themselves that it was never the answer. Sometimes the wisdom and understanding gained in short relapse is unparalleled. Others join and have revelations within the first few weeks of their journey and never look back! No matter what your loved ones journey looks like, know that if they are committed to getting healthier and openly communicating with their family and friends, they are making serious progress. 


If they won’t identify as an “alcoholic”, what does that mean? 

The traditional 12 steps requires that clients identify as an alcoholic as one of the first steps towards recovery. If this helps you, this is great! You should continue that path. Clients of Centered typically come to us because they don’t feel like they are broken and they don’t identify as something they will have to struggle against for the rest of their lives–and this is true! Science is proving that even what was once regarded as permanently debilitating can be overcome. Neuroplasticity says that even the oldest of dogs can learn new tricks, and that even the strongest of habits are pruned away eventually with disuse.

Familiar habits

Did you ever suck your thumb or wet the bed? It’s likely you did both at some point, until you knew better ways to comfort yourself or use the restroom. But you likely don’t consider yourself a recovering bed-wetter or recovering thumbsucker, right?

While addiction to alcohol or substances is of course, a lot more complicated than either of these childish habits, it is still at its core a well-worn habit that helps a person deal with their discomfort. Once the chemical dependency on a substance is resolved, usually during or shortly after detox, then the leftover cravings for a substance or habit are just that–habitual actions that in the past have provided a short cut to relief from a feeling.

While the program at Centered does illuminate these habits as well as help clients become deeply familiar with the consequences that come along with these “short cuts”, identifying as a person who takes this short cut is not necessary to recovery for many. In fact, identifying as one who struggles may keep the identity of “alcoholic” going in a way that is incredibly detrimental to the client. 

What is addiction, anyway? 


If you have ever felt the need to turn off the world and binge watch Netflix because you “just can’t deal”, or told yourself you deserve some “retail therapy” or extra margaritas or beers because of the rough week you’ve had, you have engaged in the same behavior that most people did the first time they used alcohol or a substance to change the way they felt in the moment. The only difference is for some, they either ignore the consequences of the action or the relief they feel is so great it overrides any negative outcomes

They continue with the behavior until it causes serious problems in their life they can’t ignore. Most of us notice the first time we get a big credit card bill and know we need to rein in on our “retail therapy”…but for some, the emotional or physical relief is simply too great to ignore, even if the repercussions are huge. This is really the main difference in needing an intervention to help you stop unhealthy behaviors and stopping on your own. 


Addiction in its simplest definition is the “fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.” It is totally treatable–not a lifelong disease that you can only hope to “manage” through meetings. Even the American Society of Addiction Medicine agrees: 

“Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences. Prevention efforts and treatment approaches for addiction are generally as successful as those for other chronic diseases.”

While giving family support a big question is, “When will I get my loved one back?”


A common question we hear at our IOP drug rehabs Roswell location is “when will I get my loved one back?” While we understand the desire to return to a time where your loved one seemed simpler, happier, and/or healthier, the truth is that people in recovery may never be “the same” as they once were. Truthfully, none of us are the same people we were a few months or even years ago, we are always changing and growing as we learn and experience new things. Persons in recovery are no different. They may have learned or experienced things they never want to go through again. People in addiction may have traumatic memories that are painful to move through. Or they may be carrying the weight of guilt or shame for their past actions and feel uncomfortable for some time, even with the people they feel closest to.

The most supportive thing a family can do is love their people where they are today. Get comfortable with the fact that you may not understand everything they are going through, but the more open and supportive you are for them, the more likely they will be able to share what they can. Remember that relationships, like people, aren’t meant to stagnate and stand still–they are meant to grow and change like the people in them. Things may never be “the same” as they once were, and that is okay. They may be even more beautiful, rich, and honest than ever before!

Loving them now

Commit yourself to being open, caring, and supportive for the people you love, without expectations in return. If they can’t return your feelings at this time, that is about them and where they are mentally and emotionally at this time. This doesn’t reflect on you! Addiction doesn’t happen in a bubble! If we’re truly honest we can usually see patterns of behavior, expectations, or times where we aren’t always capable of making the healthiest choices for ourselves. People in recovery are no different, and need space to make mistakes just like all humans. 

Why do clients choose Centered drug rehabs Atlanta location? 

As science evolves and people gain a better understanding of how their brains and bodies work, more people are challenging the outdated idea that the 12 steps are the only way to recover from addiction. Mindfulness has been shown to be just as effective, if not more effective than the 12 steps for addiction treatment. Mindfulness also has the added benefits of less stress, anxiety, and increased resilience later in life. Clients know that the best addiction treatment program in Alpharetta is Centered Recovery, which serves clients from all over the metro Atlanta area and beyond.

Our program has more Google reviews than any other treatment program in Georgia, and most of the reviews are about the life-changing nature of the program itself–not about how nice the facility is or how kind our staff are (although both are also true). For anyone who wants to get meaningful help for addiction issues in or near Alpharetta, Georgia, Centered is the place! Call us at 800.556.2966 today to speak with one of our team members to find out how you can start your recovery journey today.