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When Your Loved One Comes Home

What Happens at Discharge?

a loved one hugs their partner after being discharged from rehab

When your loved one has completed their stay at Laguna Treatment Hospital, 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.

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 respectful 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 disease for which there is no cure. 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 Hospital 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 (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.

A relapse is not considered a failure but an indication that there needs to be an additional focus on recovery. Family members of someone who has relapsed can reach out to their Laguna case manager, AA or NA sponsor, or other trusted friend in recovery.

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 below groups 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 Hospital.

  • 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.
About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Laguna Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More