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5 Ways to Support a Loved One in Treatment From a Distance

When someone you love is getting treatment for substance use disorder (SUD), it can leave you feeling helpless and scared. It is never easy to watch someone you love face complex challenges in their life. Addiction affects not only the individual experiencing it but their loved ones too. If your loved one is in treatment that is not local, it can feel challenging to find ways to support them. 

Family support is essential to a person’s success in treatment and recovery from SUDs. Family members can learn more about SUD and its effects. This way, everyone is on the same page when making lifestyle changes that will support sober living. They can also give their family members hope, love, and encouragement during the treatment process.

What Is Your Loved One Experiencing During Treatment?

Upon entering treatment, your loved one will likely undergo a detoxification process under the care of medical professionals. This process will help clear their body of any addictive substances. The treatment center may use medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms. After detoxification, your loved one can expect to participate in a very structured treatment process. This process will include a combination of medical care, if needed, individual therapy, and group support sessions

Each part of substance use treatment presents its own challenges and has its own rewards. Your loved one will experience overwhelming emotions as they learn more about themselves, their addiction, and the recovery process. Family support can make all the difference in the world as they navigate this new chapter. 

5 Ways To Support a Loved One in Treatment

If your loved one is in a treatment program that is far away from your location, you may be wondering how you can show them love and support. Here are five suggestions for supporting your loved one in treatment if you are separated by distance.

#1. Communicate Your Support During Treatment

There are many reasons that your loved one will need communication from you while they are in treatment. Whether you are writing them letters, talking with them on the phone, or any other form of communication, it is important that your loved one is reminded that they are not alone. 

Take an interest in their daily activities, and actively listen to what they choose to share with you. If it is part of their treatment program, you can also communicate with key members of their treatment team and participate in any family programs. 

#2. Be Patient and Understanding

Your loved one is doing some serious mental and physical work during treatment. They will need your patience and love. There will be difficult moments for you and your loved one. Try to remain compassionate. Be flexible in your support according to your loved one’s needs. 

#3. Educate Yourself

Taking the time to educate yourself on addiction, treatment, and recovery is one of the most helpful things you can do. Education is the best way to increase understanding and empathy while reducing the stigmas that surround SUDs. This is a great way to show your loved one that you are committed to understanding what they are going through and supporting them through the process. 

#4. Offer Support for Their Recovery Plan

Offering practical support for your loved one once they get home can make it easier for them to plan for recovery. You can offer to drive them to any appointments or meetings, attending with them if they would like moral support. Collaborate with them on how best to create a sober living space they can return to. Offer to help them find sober activities and hobbies you can both enjoy once they get home. Help them find hope and excitement for the future.

#5. Manage Your Expectations For the Future

Make sure that you have realistic expectations for when your loved one comes home. This is a good time to learn healthy communication skills that will make difficult discussions easier. Learn about common triggers and early warning signs of relapse. This way, you can help your loved one in their sobriety. On your own or with a mental health professional, you can decide what boundaries will help keep you and your loved one safe and happy. 

The Malibu Wellness Ranch Difference

Knowing your loved one is in a treatment program that fits their needs and provides them with unique life experiences that they can carry with them beyond treatment will bring you peace of mind. At Malibu Wellness Ranch, we offer a variety of evidence-based therapies and group sessions that will help your loved one develop the skills they need to make significant changes in their lives. 

In addition to physical and mental health services, our 800-acre ranch in the Poconos Mountains is uniquely capable of offering our clients a wide variety of recreational activities. Your loved one will work with horses, go fishing, hiking, and much more. We believe that making social connections and finding joy in life without the use of substances is one of the most important skills we can help our clients develop.


At Malibu Wellness Ranch, we understand that our client’s families want the absolute best care for their loved ones. Family support is an essential factor for successful treatment and recovery. We strive to provide each of our clients with the best treatment options through evidence-based therapies and the chance to develop hobbies and skills that will last them a lifetime. Addiction is a family disease, and the Malibu Wellness team is happy to communicate with the families of our clients to provide reassurance and support during their loved one’s treatment. For more information on what makes Malibu Wellness Ranch unique and successful, call (800) 862-5428 to speak with us today.