Having a loved one in drug and alcohol treatment is a bit of a mixed bag.
We are usually elated that they are receiving help, but also anxious about what is going on with them while they are there. There are different types of rehab depending on if your loved one has insurance, is court-ordered, or is in a private facility. Regardless of the situation, most treatment centers have visitation days/times for family members. It is important to find out what the policies are at the rehab your loved one is staying at as they differ from place to place. In addition, many treatment centers will require potential visitors to go through an orientation process before being allowed to visit their family member. This ensures that the visiting parties understand the rules and what is expected of them while they are engaged with their loved ones on the facility’s campus.
Family support is so important in recovery, especially during the beginning when someone is in rehab.
Many people wonder what to expect during family visitation. While the specifics will certainly differ depending on the rehab facility, there are certain basics that remain the same or are very similar. Here are some guidelines to consider when thinking about visiting your loved one while they are in rehab:
Be sure to find out what days and times are blocked off for visitation.
You may only be allowed to bring in certain personal items, like your car keys. They may hold your keys and cell phone and return them when you leave. This is to keep the clients and you safe, so don’t take it personally!
There may be a dress code, so it’s a good idea to find out before heading to visitation.
Depending on the setting, you may or may not have much privacy to visit with your loved one, which can be somewhat overwhelming.
You may be invited or asked to participate in a group session, such as an education class or a therapeutic session. It may feel a little uncomfortable, but it can be a hugely beneficial experience for both you and your loved one. It may even encourage someone else who is visiting their loved one to attend as well.
If you have brought clothing, personal hygiene items, or cigarettes for your loved one, understand that you might not be able to leave them during visitation. All facilities have different rules.
You may have questions about your loved one that you want to ask the staff during your visit.
They may or may not be able to provide you with an answer. Remember that you are dealing with client privacy, and unless your loved one is a minor, you most likely will not be able to get information from anyone other than your loved one.
Supporting your loved one during their journey to recovery isn’t easy, but it is vital for both of you. If you have any questions about what to expect during family visitation, don’t be afraid to seek counsel from the staff at their rehab or consult outside resources such as Al-anon.