Do’s and Don’ts Of Visiting a Loved One In Drug Rehab


Visiting a loved one in rehab can feel a bit daunting, and it is normal to feel nervous. Thinking about things like how you should act and what you should, and should not, say can be understandably very stressful. However, you should relax! Taking the pressure off will make you and your loved one feel much better about the situation. Here are some do’s and don’ts of visiting a loved one in drug rehab. These are sure to help relieve some stress about the situation and make your visit more enjoyable and successful.

Do: Be on Time

The first tip on this list that you definitely should do is be on time. This will show your loved one that you truly care about them and want to visit. It will also ensure that you both get the most out of your visiting time. An added tip is to actually get there a bit early. This way you have plenty of time to get your bearings and introduce yourself to the people who work at your family member or friend’s alcohol or drug rehab center. After all, these people have been helping your loved one round the clock throughout their entire treatment thus far, you should at least meet them.

Don’t: Be Negative

When visiting your loved one in rehab you should never be negative. This includes being negative about their past, current treatment, or future. In fact, it is probably not the best idea to bring these things up at all. Keeping positive throughout your whole stay will put both of you at ease. It will ensure that you both have a positive experience as well. Focusing on light hearted topics can help you with staying positive. Doing this from the very beginning will set a great attitude for your entire conversation.

Do: Keep the Conversation Light

A great way to make sure that you both stay positive and have an uplifting experience is to keep the conversation light. Some topics that are safe to bring up are things like the weather, the news, and sporting events. Try to keep the conversation interesting, positive, and as stress free as possible. Having a relaxed casual conversation will provide a great outlet for your loved one to get some much needed positive social interaction with someone close to them.

Don’t Mention Stressors

We mentioned keeping the conversation light, and a way that you can help with this is by not mentioning any stressors. This can include things like their drug detox, their past, current hardships, and even sober living. It is definitely a good idea to avoid bringing up topics like money or any elements that may have been related to their past addiction. Stressing your loved one out during your visit will only make things worse and make your visiting time much less enjoyable for the both of you.

Do: Express Your Admiration

It is important that you express your admiration for everything that your loved one is doing with their addiction treatment and positive life changes. Not only does this let your loved one know that you care about them but it also shows them that you are there for them. This will let them feel more open about reaching out for help when they need it after leaving their rehab program. After all, life after detox can be pretty hard, and they might be able to really benefit from your support.

Don’t: Pressure Them

Pressuring your loved one in any way during your visit with them at their inpatient rehab center is possibly the worst thing that you could do. It makes the experience stressful, emotional, and unenjoyable. This could be pressuring them to do absolutely anything from their addiction treatment to their plans after rehab. “During your stay just remember to keep the conversation light and positive and express that you are proud of them for going through addiction treatment”, says Mat Gorman, CEO at Briarwood Detox.


Visiting a loved one, whether it is a friend or family member, can be pretty stressful. In some cases, it could even cause anxiety. However, visiting a loved one in an inpatient rehab center does not need to be as stressful as you might think. Entering the situation with a positive attitude, telling your loved one that you are proud of them for entering addiction treatment, and keeping the conversation light are key elements to a positive and enjoyable experience. In addition to this, being on time allows you to show your loved one that you truly care, and being early can allow you to introduce yourself to the rehab center staff. Avoiding bringing up stressors and not pressuring your loved one are other key ingredients for a successful visit. Doing all of this can help to show your loved one that you are there for them throughout their addiction recovery, even after they leave rehab.