Visiting son in rehab

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Southern51, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Southern51

    Southern51 New Member

    Hi all, I’m looking for any experiences you can share about visiting kids in rehab. My son got through the detox phase and just got transferred to the main residential facility where he’ll be living for the next 3 months at least. I’m going to visit him next week. The facility gave me some instructions as to what to bring and what not to bring and I’m thinking about the meeting itself. It will be painful, and scary and hopeful to see him. I haven’t seen him in a long time.
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    First of all congratulations this is a tremendous step forward. We all recognize that relapse is a scarey and ever present though and worry.
    I would suggest having a meeting for yourself with a therapist or coach to help you manage this visit.
    Staying present in the now is important. And it may be hard for you to know what to expect. Their moods and emotions run wild at this phase. As will yours
    It is a good day. It is a great progression. I am happy for you both.
  3. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I agree with LBL. The treatment center therapists would be the best sources for what to expect, if you can speak to them in advance.

    Most of those visits went awfully for us, but if I knew in advance that is very typical, I would have taken it far less personally and I would not have been so discouraged about his seeming lack of progress.

    Mine went involuntarily. For those kids, many categories of responses seemed to be typical



    Criticisms about the facility or staff, or about the cult of sobriety

    Claiming everyone there is worse off in their substance abuse or mental illness

    A sudden concern thay you are being ripped off

    Pressure about duration

    Counting days

    A pledge to be sober for a limited time but to resume “just drinking” or “just smoking pot”

    Notwithstanding doing most all of that, my son came out and stayed in a program for a year and sober almost another year past that.

    He’s not sober now, but he can’t unlearn what he learned there. He also knows how supportive the environment is for anyone serious about gaining or regaining sobriety.
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  4. Southern51

    Southern51 New Member

    Thank you for the replies. My emotions ARE running wild... It's a real rollercoaster. I've talked about it with my therapist, but I guess it's going to be this way for quite some time.
    My son went voluntarily, but I know he's dealing with cravings. I hope he'll be strong enough to stay there.
    We talked on the phone,and I found out so much that I didn't know earlier. Son was totally overwhelmed by reentering the civilian world. He felt like no one listened to him, and everybody just tried to stick him in the "traumatized veteran" category (no, he doesn't suffer from PTSD). Either that or the "uneducated, lacking in options victim".
    He felt like he couldn't connect to anyone. And worse, he expected himself to just be able to work it out on his own, so he didn't talk to anyone.
    And then his girlfriend broke up with him. A month later he found out that she was pregnant and got an abortion. And it all went downhill from then.
    If only he would have talked to me.
  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    He is now, Southern and that's a good thing.
    Your son took a huge step going into rehab on his own.
    A great thing.
    Golden moments.
    We are like miners panning for gold. We get small flecks here and there, and they add up, but we are waiting in anticipation for the big chunk.
    Cherish the small flecks.
    Each little golden moment adds up.
    I hope your son is on his way towards healing, and finding his potential.
    As he works on himself, keep working on you.
    Build up your toolbox, take one day, one small step at a time.
    One moment at a time.
    May you find peace on this journey.
    We are with you, you are not alone.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Welcome Southern:

    My son was in rehab for the first time at age 15 for marijuana. I was terrified to visit. We had always been so close and it was just scary because so many things had happened that were not like him before he went into rehab. I was afraid of who he was and how he'd changed before my very eyes without me seeing it. It was surreal. We thought it was once and done!

    I am SO GLAD that I was not able to see into the future because 7 years later the battlefield is bloody and the war is still ongoing.

    Sam hit it ON THE HEAD (BRAVO - I'd forgotten most of it) as to what we have experienced and continue to experience intermittently when we have seen our son. He is in a long term faith based program now and we will see him for the first time next month and I am praying that we will see a big change. I will know.

    My advice is to try not to wear your heart on your sleeve when you go for a visit. Your son sounds older and since he went on his own you may not experience any of these things. If I had any advice to give I think that not expecting too much is what I would say!

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  7. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Its so good that he sought treatment.

    He’ll have therapy to work through the issues he was trying to self-medicate and learn better coping skills when he begins to feel bad and or/life gets difficult. As both are sure to happen.

    Of course you know that there are no guarantees it would have gone down differently if he had talked to you about his problems. He went where he did knowing you love him.

    He needs pro tools. He’s in the right place for the best chance at peace, that does not depend on life being golden.

    Sending you both strength.
  8. Southern51

    Southern51 New Member

    Thank you for the reply. The visit went well, in my opinion. We talked a lot. Son is absolutely determined to stay in rehab, at least for now. I found out that he met a few other veterans there, and they support each other. I thank God for that... considering his issues, it could have been harder if there were no people there who shared his experiences. I am cautiously hopeful. I know he still has a long road ahead, and that heroin is hard to kick... but at least this, at least for today, he's safe. I couldn't ask for more. Thank you all for your support, again.
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 3
    • List