Dos and Don’ts for When a Loved One Returns from Drug Rehab in PA

welcoming a loved one home from drug rehab

Family and friends play a vital role in helping a loved one sustain their recovery. Chances are, you’ve watched your loved one battle substance use for months or even years. Now that they’ve accepted help and are getting better, you want to welcome them home with open arms. 

Most people who return home from drug rehab in PA look healthier than they have in a long time. They may even be positive and optimistic about their recovery. However, this can also be part of the ‘pink cloud’ or honeymoon stage, where newly sober individuals feel like they’re on cloud 9.

The problem with early recovery is that individuals have not yet had enough time to practice their coping skills and exist in the real world without drugs or alcohol. Just one trigger - a certain person, place or thing - can send them down the path of relapse. This is why it’s imperative that your loved one has a safe and sober living environment. 

Let’s explore some dos and don’ts for when your loved one returns home from drug rehab. 


  • Educate yourself on addiction. Learn about addiction as a disease so that you can be prepared for the recovery process and develop realistic expectations. The more you know about addiction, the more empathetic you can be. 
  • Communicate. Keep the lines of communication open in your household. You can learn about healthy communication through family therapy and support groups. You want to avoid falling back into the same harmful patterns. 
  • Connect with others. You are recovering from addiction just as much as your loved one, though in a different way. Stay connected to positive influences and seek help from support groups or therapy. 
  • Be patient. Recovery is a long journey. There will be steps forward and steps backward, and it’s normal to feel discouraged at times. Be patient and trust the process. As long as your loved one keeps working, results will come. 
  • Support continued treatment. Most treatment centers offer some form of continuing care. Make sure that your loved one is seeking continued treatment, such as therapy, support groups, counseling and more. 
  • Encourage new hobbies. Your loved one will need new, healthy activities to keep busy. Think about some hobbies you can do together, such as cooking, sports or crafts. 
  • Maintain a structured schedule. Everyone in the home can benefit from stability and consistency. Maintain a structured schedule that includes healthy meals, physical activity and restful sleep. 


  • Use substances around the person. Find activities that you can enjoy with your loved one that do not involve drugs or alcohol. This is constructive for the whole family. 
  • Enable your loved one. Make sure that you are aware of what enabling behaviors look like. Avoid them - they might look like helping, but they will stop your loved one from growing in their recovery journey. 
  • Exclude your loved one. Your loved one’s life is going to look different, but don’t exclude them from your activities. Try to include your loved one when you can, and help them adjust to their new lifestyle. You don’t want them to feel left out or different because they can’t drink or use drugs. 
  • Dwell on the past. When your loved one comes home from drug rehab, welcome them with open arms. Try to move away from the past and put your energy into building a new, substance-free life together. 
  • Live in fear. Families with addiction often live in fear - fear of their loved one relapsing, fear of upsetting their loved one, etc. However, try to look at this time as a fresh start. Your role is to create a positive, loving environment for your loved one. If they relapse, it is not on you. 

These are some basic dos and don’ts for when your loved one returns home from drug rehab in PA. To learn more about our programs and how we can help your loved one heal from their addiction, contact Recovery Cove today at 484-549-COVE or fill out our contact form