How to Prepare Yourself and Your Family for Addiction Treatment
Deciding to get help for an addiction to drugs or alcohol is brave and something to be proud of. Being fully prepared for rehab will help ensure that you make the absolute most out of your time in treatment. However, between battling your addiction and the anticipation of going to rehab, figuring out exactly how to prepare for rehab can feel overwhelming.
This complete list will help you prepare to put your work, family, and social obligations on hold so you can focus on what is most important: your recovery.
Important Things to Take Care of Before Going to Rehab
Life doesn’t stop when you go to rehab. Your workplace will continue functioning, your family’s needs will remain the same, and the bills will keep piling up. The more you prepare, the smoother your experience in rehab will be, and the easier it will be to return home after rehab.
Important things you should take care of before leaving for rehab include:
Make Arrangements with Your Employer
If you need to take time off work to go to rehab, you must speak with your employer. Let them know how long you will be away from work, if you are using paid time off, or if you are taking 12 weeks of medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). You may be required to fill out certain paperwork to confirm your time off and ensure continued insurance coverage.
Schedule Automatic Bill Payments
Monthly bills such as health insurance, car insurance, car payments, credit card payments, electricity, and more may not be able to be paused while you are in rehab. Leaving these bills unpaid can leave you in a bad financial situation upon your release from rehab. As a result, the smartest thing to do is to schedule automatic bill payments or share your financial information with a trusted friend who can take care of payments for you while you are in treatment.
Arrange Childcare and Petcare
Childcare will look different for every family. If you have a significant other who helps you care for your child(ren), you may only need to find a babysitter for certain hours or arrange rides to and from school. However, if you are a single parent, you may have to enlist the help of a grandparent, sibling, or extended family member to care for your kids for you. Unfortunately, most addiction treatment centers do not offer childcare.
If you have any pets, it’s important to arrange care for them, too. Figuring out pet care can be less complicated than childcare, but it is still essential to make sure your pets are cared for. Find a pet sitter, look for care on a pet-sitting app, or board your animal at a boarding facility.
Tie Up Any Legal Matters
If you have pending legal charges you should notify your lawyer or public defender of your desire to go to rehab. Make sure the court system is aware of where you will be receiving treatment.
If you are on parole or probation, be sure to communicate your treatment arrangements with your supervising officer. During treatment, a case manager at the addiction treatment center can help you stay up to date with your legal matters and advocate on your behalf.
Tell Your Family and Make Sure Responsibilities are Covered
Telling your family that you’re going to rehab can be scary, but the people who love you will be supportive of your decision to get healthy. Let your family know where the rehab facility is located, how long you will be staying, and how they can contact you.
If you have any family-related obligations, such as babysitting, carpooling, or elderly care, make sure those responsibilities are covered, too. If needed, ask your family to help you fill in the gaps so your obligations are taken care of.
Making sure you have the essentials packed will help you feel ready for rehab. Be sure to pack weather-appropriate clothing, comfortable shoes, personal hygiene products, and any prescription medications you are taking. Bring proof of health insurance, payment methods, and your license. You should also bring a list of contact information so you can reach your loved ones even if you don’t have your cell phone.
View our complete list of what to bring to rehab to make sure you don’t forget anything.
3 Ways to Prepare for Rehab Mentally
Tying up loose ends and handling family matters is important, but you also need to prepare emotionally and mentally for rehab.
Rehab means getting sober, which means saying goodbye to the drugs or alcohol that you have relied on for so long. You may feel a sort of grief and loss along with fear of the unknown and anxiety about what the future holds. It’s important to be gentle with yourself during this time and to take care of your mental health.
Three ways you can prepare for rehab mentally and emotionally include:
1. Spend Time With the People You Love
While your family may be able to visit you during rehab, you won’t be able to spend as much time with them as usual. Many people find themselves homesick and missing their loved ones, so it’s important to spend as much time with them before rehab as possible. Soak up their love and support. Spending time with the people who care about you will make you feel better about your decision to seek treatment.
2. Focus on the Positives
Moving from active drug or alcohol addiction to a life of sobriety is challenging, and you may be dreading the uphill road ahead. However, it’s helpful to focus on the positive side of things. After you get sober, you will be healthier and happier. You will have more time to spend with your family and you will be more emotionally available to the people you love. You will perform better at work and be a better parent and friend.
Despite the difficult journey, there are truly no disadvantages to getting sober–there are only benefits.
3. Make Time for Relaxation and Self-Care
Finally, be sure to set aside some time for relaxation and self-care. Treat yourself to your favorite meal or pamper yourself with a warm bath. Go to the gym, do a guided meditation, get some extra sleep, or do whatever it is that will help relax your mind. Rehab isn’t a vacation–therapy can actually feel like hard, emotionally-taxing work! Take this time before rehab to relax and care for your mental health.
Start the Admissions Process Today
If you are ready to take the first step toward recovery but aren’t sure where to begin, please contact Sheer Recovery today. Our dedicated admissions counselors will guide you through the admissions process and answer any questions you may have about preparing for rehab. We’re available 24 hours a day to help you get started on your recovery journey. Call now to begin.