Families: What You Need to Know

Sending your loved one off to treatment is scary; you may worry about their well-being and how they’re progressing. You may also be wondering what life after rehab is going to be like. Knowing more about what your loved one will be doing in rehab and what to expect afterwards may help answer your questions and ease your fears.

What Will My Loved One Be Doing?

Family holding hands with a loved one battling addiction

While at our Hollywood facility, your loved one will be spending their days in a rigorous therapy and treatment schedule.

Their exact schedule depends on whether they’re in detox, residential treatment, a partial hospitalization program, or intensive outpatient treatment, but many of the basic principles are the same.

Our clients often start their day with morning meditation. Then they’ll enjoy breakfast and begin their day of treatment. Their mornings will be spent in a number of clinical programs, from dialectical-behavior therapy to pain management.

One key part of treatment is individual therapy, which is when your loved one will meet with their therapist to address any personal issues, conquer any symptoms of relapse, and advocate for their health appropriately.

Your loved one will also participate in various educational groups to learn more about addiction and recovery. Their days will also include various healthy activities to promote communication, healthy habits, and physical wellness.

Coursework changes each day to keep your loved one thoroughly educated on a number of recovery-based subjects. Your loved one will have some free time in the afternoon, as well as at dinner. They can attend optional groups at night. Lights out will occur at the same time each day so that patients get adequate rest and stay on a healthy schedule.

Our treatment team will work with your loved one from day one to develop an aftercare plan so that both of you know what you can do to be successful when your loved one leaves Recovery First.

Can I Talk to Him or Her?

To help your loved one stay truly immersed in their recovery, we place limits on phone calls and visits. Families may visit once per month during our family weekends, while phone calls may be placed during non-programming hours/free time.

At Recovery First, we encourage writing impact letters to your loved one. Once they receive this letter, they’ll be able to write back to you the next day.

Don’t worry if you don’t hear back from your loved one; they may just be busy with treatment. To see how they are progressing, you are free to call our facility and speak with their therapist. Just keep in mind that our therapists are not on-site 24/7, so they may not be able to return your call immediately.

How Can I Help?

Your main role during your loved one’s recovery is to be as supportive of your loved one’s journey as possible.

Our monthly, 2-day family program will help you understand exactly what this means. You will work with your loved one’s therapist to see how you can be involved in their treatment.

This is more than just a visitation—the program also helps you better understand what your loved one is going through. You’ll watch a presentation from their psychiatrist and also attend therapy groups so you can learn how to repair your relationships. This might involve family therapy, couples counseling, or another form of therapy.

When your loved one is ready to be discharged, you’ll work one-on-one with their case manager to plan how and when they’ll return home.

Family Visits

Families are encouraged to visit loved ones at Recovery First during the family program weekend.

There are several nearby hotels where you can stay. For the Hollywood facility, these include:

  • Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (9 minute drive).
  • Holiday Inn Express and Suite Fort Lauderdale Airport West (10 minute drive).
  • Quality Inn and Suites Hollywood Boulevard Port Everglades Cruise Port Hotel (13 minute drive).

The best way to get here from out of town is to fly into Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), which is just 20 minutes from the Hollywood facility. You can take a taxi, Lyft, or Uber if you don’t have a car. Another option is public transportation. To get to Hollywood, take bus 9 or 12 to stop 291 or 145.

When Your Loved One Leaves Recovery First

So much thought and preparation is put into what to do when a loved one enters into rehab that it can take some people off guard when the time comes for them to be discharged. Many things about your loved one and how they live their life are likely going to be different than what you are used to, which is why it can be helpful to be aware of what to expect at this transitional time.

What is the Discharge Process?


We know how anxious you will be for your loved one to return home. We are here to work with you during this life-changing moment. Before your loved one is cleared to leave, their case manager will work with them to create a discharge plan. This plan will provide clear steps that they should take as they transition back into their daily life.

For those who are living locally, that might include instructions for joining our aftercare and alumni groups. If your loved one isn’t from this area, their case manager will help them find ongoing care in their home community. Either way, you can pick up your loved one at the facility after this plan is complete and take them home.

Recovery First has partnered with MAP Health Management, an organization that will assist your loved one as they continue to work on their recovery and rebuild their lives. MAP will follow up with patients for the first few months after their discharge to make sure everything is on track. They’ll connect with your loved one, their case manager, and other staff by phone to help them navigate the post-discharge landscape and connect them with others in recovery.

Supporting Your Loved One

Knowing how to act around your newly sober loved one can be tricky and you may worry about saying or doing the wrong thing. Remember, you can’t control your loved one’s recovery, but you can be there for them as they navigate this new journey.

It’s generally best to be empathetic about their situation and avoid judgment as much as possible. Your loved one may be coming to terms with things they did in active addiction that they feel shame or guilt about. Avoid adding to their shame by rehashing old incidents; instead, let them know how proud you are of their progress.

Remember, addiction is a chronic disease, meaning your loved one won’t be “cured” when they leave rehab. They’ll be in recovery for the rest of their life. Offer your unconditional love and support as they adapt to their life in recovery. Remember, however, that unconditional love doesn’t mean enabling. Set boundaries and clearly state them, and the consequences for violating them, to your loved one. This part may be difficult, but in the long run, it will be best for both of you.

Logistical Support

One important step you can take is to help them find an outpatient program or recovery meetings to keep them on the right path. While we don’t have a regular outpatient program, we do offer an intensive outpatient program (IOP) which offers therapy and groups 3 evenings a week at our Hollywood facility.

We provide a free aftercare program, also at our Hollywood location, on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. If your loved one needs transportation and you can provide it, this would be a great way to provide support for their recovery, as regular contact with sober connections goes a long way in preventing relapse.

You might also invite them to participate in certain activities or hobbies with you. Their old hangouts and friends will likely be triggering for them, and they’ll need to engage in a whole new lifestyle change in which they separate themselves from the people, places, and things that they associate with substance use.

Discuss Relapse

It’s important to understand that addiction is disease, not a choice. Addiction has relapse rates similar to those of asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure. If your loved one has suffered one or more relapses in the past, try not to hold it against them; relapse is a common part of the journey to recovery.

When your loved one comes homes from Recovery First, talk openly about relapse and their plan for prevention. Understand their triggers and when they’re most tempted to use. This can help you to avoid unwittingly exposing them to certain temptations when you’re together.

Most importantly, watch for signs of impending relapse. If you notice your loved one is starting to act odd, becoming more secretive, hiding their belongings, or experiencing mood swings, they could be using again. The best thing to do in this case is not to reprimand or accuse but to connect your loved one with support right away.

Stay Involved

Staying involved in your loved one’s life is crucial, even if you’ve had a rough past. Addiction is well known for wrecking relationships and causing conflicts. But you can move past these hurdles with time, love, and support. One way you can do this is through family therapy.

We are happy to provide a monthly family program while clients are receiving treatment. This 2-day event gives you the chance to visit your loved one and work directly with a therapist to help heal any bad blood that’s brewing between you. After your loved one is discharged from rehab, it’s a great idea to continue family therapy on your own to continue to work on your relationship.

Additionally, our alumni program hosts frequent events to encourage and inspire former clients; in some cases, family members can also get involved in these activities.

Supporting Yourself

You also need to keep an eye on your own well-being while you’re supporting your loved one during their recovery. Attempting to be a pillar of strength for another person is incredibly exhausting, and sometimes even stressful and traumatic. You may find your mental and physical health, finances, work performance, and personal life begin to suffer.

The key here is to learn to set boundaries for yourself and your loved one and come to terms with the fact that you are not responsible for your loved one’s sobriety. Be there for your loved one, but avoid sacrificing your own health and wellness. Remember that you can provide the best support when you take care of yourself. Think of the airline’s advice—you always put your own oxygen mask on before you put one on your child. The same principle applies here.

There are organizations that can help you if you’re struggling to find the right balance of support. These include:

  • Al-Anon or Nar-Anon – 12-step groups for those whose lives have been impacted by a loved one’s alcohol or drug use.
  • Co-Dependents Anonymous – A fellowship designed to help those struggling to maintain healthy and loving relationships.

Addiction Treatment at Recovery First

If you have a loved one who is struggling with a substance use disorder and needs professional help, reach out to us right now by calling us at . We will connect you with one of our kind and experienced rehab admissions navigators who can answer all of your questions, including those about what to expect at our facility. They can also provide information about rehab payment options and insurance.

Get the process moving and verify your loved one’s insurance right now by filling out our

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