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How Can I Offer Support When My Parent Need Rehab?

When children go without parents for a long period of time, it can be difficult for them. It is easier when they are adults, but perhaps they have been through their parents’ addictions for a long time. Maybe one is addicted and the other enables. Once they head off to treatment, it might feel like they finally are getting it, but there is still that lingering feeling of loss. It is hard to quit without professional help. It is necessary for treatment to happen so they can live a more fulfilling life on the outside. 


Delays happen when people attempt rehab because they are denying the addiction exists or they are not sure how they are going to leave what is familiar for what is less familiar. Many parents with addiction fear children will end up in foster care or go somewhere they don’t feel is safe while they’re away. For adult children, this idea shifts because they are taking care of themselves, but maybe their parents support them. Single parents have an even harder time figuring out daycare and support for children so they can go to rehab. Missing work is difficult, but they can usually apply for FMLA or some other type of leave if qualified. It is important to remember before rehab:

  • Encourage the parents on their journey
  • Offer to find support for children who need help
  • Engage with kids and talk to them about what is going on and be honest with them


When parents head off to rehab, they may be gone for 30 to 90 days. They may do outpatient work, which means they are not going away to live somewhere else, but they are still away quite often working on their recovery. Treatment for some drugs and alcohol addiction can last longer than a year, with trying to get their brain and body back online again. When they do the inner work, they will be better parents. They learn how to navigate difficult family dynamics, heal, and be more present for the kids. It is difficult to let parents go to rehab, but it will help them be better in the long run. Kids who support their parents as they head off to rehab should visit them when they can, and as appropriate, according to age and ability. Family therapy sessions are particularly helpful to lay out all that has gone on, heal some wounds, and learn better communication skills within the family.


When finishing rehab, there may be lots of feelings. There is no cure, though they may have changed a great deal from the experience. They still have a long road ahead of them. Many people end up relapsing so there is always that risk. The person with addiction needs support and love after rehab. It is important to continue taking care of the person’s children. Offer support and try to help them the best way possible. Older kids and grown kids are more likely to understand what is going on, attend support groups and be supportive of the healing process. 

Addiction disorders disrupt the natural rhythm of family life. A loved one with addiction is working hard to heal but they also know they’ve done great damage to kids and loved ones. Other family members may feel helpless and not sure what to do. Treatment is the beginning of the process for the whole family. 

The Guest House believes families should be involved in supporting a loved one through addiction rehab. We offer family time so they can work on issues together. We are here to help families find their way through the journey of healing. Our program provides a special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 855-483-7800.