Families: What to Know

We’ve created an orientation video for Laguna to introduce you to the the details of how your loved one will check in and what they will experience.


What Will My Loved One Be Doing?

patient entering detox is meeting with behavioral health technician to determine the best treatment plan

Addiction rehab at Laguna Treatment Center begins with detox, during which your loved one will be monitored 24/7 by our professional nursing staff. The detox period typically lasts 5 to 7 days, and medications may be prescribed to help your loved one taper off their substance of use and to keep them comfortable during withdrawal.

Following the detoxification stage, patients continue their addiction treatment with an intensive schedule of individual and group therapies. Every patient undergoes a psychiatric evaluation within 48 hours of admission, so our staff can formulate the best treatment plan for your loved one’s individual needs.

Meals are served three times a day. Each day typically begins at 7 am with breakfast.

From 9 am to noon, and 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm, your loved one will participate in various individual and group therapies. Evenings consist of 12-step meetings and reflection.

Your loved one will also be spending time with the treatment team creating an aftercare plan for when they return home.

Can I Talk to My Loved One?

The compassionate staff at Laguna Treatment Center understand that staying in touch with supportive family members can be an important component of success in recovery, and we work with our patients to facilitate communications as often as they are comfortable with.

Upon admission, patients will be required to temporarily check in their cell phones and electronics for 5 days (starting the day after admission) to focus on getting acclimated to treatment. After this period, they’ll be able to use their electronics outside of treatment hours, per our cell phone and electronics policy.

If your loved one has consented to release medical information and completed a completed a release of information (ROI), Laguna’s clinical team provides status updates on patients to those family members within 24 hours of admission. Family members looking to contact their loved ones may contact the staff at Laguna directly. Please note that if there is not an ROI on file, we may not communicate the patient’s status in order to protect their confidentiality and privacy.

What Is My Role?

Family therapy is available if the patient and family members both agree. If your loved one is interested in connecting with you or other family members during treatment, they may facilitate a Skype or telephone meeting through their therapist.

Additionally, we recommend taking steps on your own as your loved one is in treatment. Our team can help you find Al-Anon, Narc-Anon, and other family support groups in your area. 

Can I Visit Laguna Treatment Center?

At this time, due to certain Covid-19 and other restrictions, we cannot accommodate family or other guest visitors at this time.

Can I Bring Gifts or Items to My Loved One?

No, at this time, due to Covid-19 and other restrictions, patients cannot accept gifts or packages, and we cannot accommodate any visitors.

When Your Loved One Comes Home

When your loved one has completed their stay at Laguna Treatment Center, our caring staff will be there every step of the way. Each patient has a case manager who is responsible for coordinating their discharge. This includes transporting them to the airport to come home or to a nearby sober living home to continue their recovery journey here in Orange County.

What Happens at Discharge?

If your loved one has completed a Release of Information (ROI) and wants you to be involved in their discharge process, the case manager will contact you prior to their discharge to help you arrange the details.

Your loved one’s case manager will continue to be involved in their recovery long after they have left Laguna. Case managers stay in regular contact with their program alumni, checking in to make sure they’re going to their outpatient treatment programs, attending group, finding a sponsor and transitioning well to their new living environment. Case managers are former program alumni themselves and can answer any questions your loved one may have and help them navigate their various treatment options in recovery.

Supporting Your Loved One

Having a family member, spouse, or close friend return home after being in a residential treatment facility can be challenging in many ways. Remember that now is the time to support them as they forge a new future in recovery, not to seek retribution for past actions committed before they sought help.

Help support your loved one by:

  • Arranging transportation for them to attend outpatient treatment sessions, group meetings, job interviews, court hearings, doctor’s visits, and other important appointments.
  • Be respectful of their boundaries and their level of comfort with your involvement in their new life. Remember that sobriety is a choice they must make for themselves— you can’t do it for them.
  • Be mindful of your own boundaries. Discuss your boundaries with your loved one and set clear expectations on behaviors that won’t be tolerated.
  • Offer emotional support. This can include being there to listen when your loved one is overwhelmed with difficult feelings, or just offering a hug and a shoulder to cry on when things get a little rocky. Be compassionate and non-judgmental about their situation and the emotions they experience. 

Understanding Relapse

Addiction is a chronic disease. While many people do enjoy a lifetime of sobriety in recovery following rehab treatment, many people will relapse back to drug or alcohol use. Although relapse is difficult for everyone involved, you should understand that is considered a normal part of many people’s journey to recovery.

Your family member’s case manager and behavioral health therapists at Laguna Treatment Center take certain steps to help them avoid relapse after discharge, including partial hospitalization programming, assistance finding transitional supportive housing and outpatient therapy, plus connection to our alumni network for continued support for years into the recovery process.

You can also help your loved one by helping eliminate temptations (e.g., don’t keep alcohol or drugs in the house) and watching for warning signs such as hanging out with substance-abusing friends or missing meetings.

Supporting Yourself

Showing self-care and self-compassion is one of the most important and most overlooked ways for family members to support their loved ones in recovery. Being around a strong support network of people who value themselves and take care of their physical, emotional, and spiritual health will set a positive example and reinforce the lessons your loved one has learned in therapy.

  • Understand the difference between supporting and enabling: Search online or ask your own therapist for resources to understand enabling and codependent relationships so you can learn to support your loved one in a way that encourages them to mature emotionally and maintain their independence.
  • Learn to set healthy boundaries: Supporting your loved one in recovery should never put you or your family in emotional or financial distress or physical danger. Learning to live without constant support and supervision is part of your loved one’s recovery journey. It’s OK to say “no!”

Be sure to find local meetings and support groups for people just like you who understand what you’re going through. The groups below all offer meetings in Orange County and throughout Southern California and are a valuable part of the discharge and support process for alumni of Laguna Treatment Center.

  • Al-Anon helps support family members and friends of alcoholics.
  • Nar-Anon provides a support network for loved ones of drug addicts.
  • Co-dependents Anonymous (or CoDA) can teach you about developing healthy interpersonal relationships in your own life.
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