Let’s talk REP

Let’s talk about Rep

Has the addict in your life found themselves in a rehabilitation center? If so, you are probably asking yourself a whirlwind of questions. Before you get ahead of yourself, repeat after me, R-E-P.

Most rehab programs range anywhere from 28 days to 90 days but can be longer or shorter depending on the circumstances.

Regardless of the time, the addict will return to the real world. So many of us have hopes that everything will be “fixed” and back to “normal” but unfortunately recovery is not that simple.

Although it is important for addicts to take it one day at a time, it is important to recognize if he or she has committed to the road in recovery which lasts a lifetime. The family is encouraged to acknowledge that relapse can be part of recovery and that it does not necessarily mean a commitment has not been made. If these things can be done, your family should implement a rehabilitation exit plan, or R.E.P.

The R.E.P. will determine where the beloved addict will go after rehab. If underage, he or she will return home to the custodial parents. Deciding whether an adult child to come home after rehab is a difficult decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. No matter the age, the child will be set up for success if the family has well educated themselves during the treatment time and prepared boundaries to implement upon return. These are important not only for the addict, but it keeps the whole family safe. It is encouraged to have them written out and fully explained so there are no surprises, and all involved understand.

Although returning home is not encouraged when dealing with adult children in recovery, it may be necessary while the addict attends outpatient treatment. This will be a predetermined decision made by the family that is included in the R.E.P. Otherwise, the addict should be encouraged to find alternative living arrangements. There are countless sober living options available if the addict is willing. Parents may suffer feelings of guilt or shame when denying the adult child to move home but isn’t it every parent’s hope to raise their child to be a self-sufficient, well-abled adult? Anytime we as parents do for our children what they are capable of doing themselves we are enabling them. This can be as small as tying the shoes of a ten-year-old to as big as paying bills for a 30-year-old. Shifting the natural urge from enabling to empowering will become a strong force in your child’s road to recovery. The more we tell our kids “yes you can!” the more they will be encouraged to not give up which is the key to success in recovery!

Lori Youngblood

Lori Youngblood is a recovering drug addict.  Her mission is to help others gain knowledge about the disease of addiction.