4 MIN READ | Psychotherapy

Ellen Diamond

What to Say to Someone in Drug Rehab?

Cite This
Ellen Diamond, (2022, February 3). What to Say to Someone in Drug Rehab?. Psychreg on Psychotherapy. https://www.psychreg.org/what-say-someone-drug-rehab/
Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you have a loved one that is going to go into treatment or is currently in treatment, it can be difficult to figure out what to say to them to help them through their journey. You want to show your support, but you may not know how. 

Here are some information about the types of rehab programmes your loved one may be going through, what to say to support them, and what to expect once they graduate. This information will help you to better understand their journey and support them each step of the way.

Types of rehab programmes

According to a drug rehab in Los Angeles, there are two main types of rehab programmes that your loved one may be enrolled in. These are outpatient care and residential care. They each have their advantages, and which one your loved one enrolls in will depend on their specific needs.

Inpatient (residential) care involves a patient staying at our facility for the duration of their programme. While you can come to visit sparingly, they will be encouraged to focus on themselves and not the outside world.

The residential treatment programme at RECO utilises a variety of therapeutic methods, including:

  • DBT (dialectical behavioural therapy)
  • CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)
  • Individual counselling
  • Group therapy
  • Trauma therapy

Outpatient utilises the same resources, but it involves the patient living at home and visiting the facility throughout the week. They will still learn the skills they need to succeed, and they will still need your support through this difficult time.

What to say to someone in drug rehab?

You want to be there for your loved one in their time of need. With that being said, you also don’t want to say the wrong thing. There are some basic things you can say to your loved one to help them along their journey without adding to their stress. You want to show your support without putting added pressure on them.

  • I’m here for you. One of the main things your loved one needs to know is that you are there for them. How you show up can come in many different forms, but the main thing is for your loved one to know you are there to support them however they need it (as long as it is a healthy form of support). Your loved one should know that they can count on you. With that said, you need to mean it. Don’t make empty promises. They may need your help along their journey. Be there for them, in the way they need it.
  • I love you. Many people in recovery feel lost, and they are worried they have done so much damage that it is irreparable. While you’ve been through a lot and you are frustrated, you still love them. That’s why you want them to get help. It’s very important for your loved one to know this. Verbally express your love and show your love through your actions. They need to know that – no matter what – you will still love them.
  • You’re not alone. While recovery centres like RECO do everything in their power to build a strong community for their patients, it’s common for them to still feel alone. They are often separated from their loved ones, either for part of the day (outpatient) or for a long stretch of time (residential). They want to know that they are not alone. You are in there with them, cheering them on. Verbalise this. Let them know that, no matter what, you are there. They are never alone.
  • How are you? While this is a very basic question, it is also a powerful one. It’s likely that they are going through the most difficult time in their life. They are confronting a lot of emotions, and they are learning more about how their actions have damaged the ones around them. Be there for them and give them the opportunity to open up. Don’t judge. Just let them speak and acknowledge their feelings.
  • Can I help? Even though your loved one is getting professional treatment at the facility they are receiving treatment from, it’s still good to ask how you can help. Sometimes asking if you can help by itself is comforting to your friend or family member. It shows that you are there for them and supporting them. If they do need help (and it’s something you can do that won’t hurt their sobriety), provide them with the help they need. They will be extremely grateful.
  • I believe in you. It can be hard for a patient to believe in themselves. Life has beaten them down, and they may not believe that they are capable of recovery. They need all the support they can get. Let them know how much you believe in them. Every little bit counts.
  • I’m proud of you. Your loved one has made one of the most difficult decisions of their life. Getting help takes a lot of courage, and it comes with a lot of fear. They deserve your kudos. Let them know how proud you are. Don’t keep this in. Even if they shrug it off, they’ll know deep down that you love them and are rooting for them.

No matter what your loved one has done in the past, they have made the decision to seek help and get the support they need to recover. Let them know how much you love and support them. It can make a world of difference.

What to expect after a drug rehab programme?

Once your loved one has graduated from a treatment program, they will be encouraged to continue to receive care. This includes therapy and attending 12-step meetings. RECO also has excellent alumni programs to provide your loved one with additional support.

Reach Out to RECO Today

If you have any questions about drug and/or alcohol treatment for your loved one, reach out to RECO today. They would be happy to answer any questions you may have.


Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.


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