Should I Trust my Child after Rehab?

Should I Trust My Child After Rehab?

“Should I trust my child after rehab?” A mother asked me the other day. “Don’t take this personally,” I replied, “but, absolutely not!” This may seem harsh, but evidence shows it’s true. Trusting your child immediately after they get out of rehab is still too soon.

Key Elements Need to Be in Place Immediately After Rehab


Trust is something that people earn – it’s like money in the bank – it earns interest and the pay-off can be grand. But most addicts and alcoholics have used up their balance and their credit is sketchy. They have lied time and time again – to parents, friends, teachers and employers. They have borrowed money with promises to pay it back and that day never came. Friends and family members have lost confidence in them and it takes a while to earn it back. Rehab is the place young people go to detox from the addictive substances they have been ingesting, get a briefing about what recovery is and make a start doing the 12 steps. There isn’t enough time in rehab to tackle all of the reasons a young adult drinks or uses – all the lying and the cheating they might have done – this is what aftercare is for.

After Rehab Comes Aftercare – A Reputable Recovery Community


When rehab is complete the best choice for making sure all a parents hard-earned money doesn’t get wasted is to enroll their child in a reputable recovery community. Some people call these places sober living homes but I have found a distinct difference between the two. 9 times out of 10, a sober living home is a place where those fresh from rehab live in a boarding house fashion. They go their separate ways during the day, to jobs or to school, are expected to get themselves to a meeting and to check back in the house before curfew. Besides the countless stories of drugs and alcohol being readily available in sober living, ages can be mixed, both genders living there, no focus on character building and definitely not enough supervision. It’s easy for one person fresh from rehab to convince another that drinking and drugging is an option.

A reputable recovery community is structured, age and gender specific and has methods in place to discover why the young person used drugs and alcohol in the first place. They will operate on peer accountability, dig deep in order to build character, encourage new behaviors and demonstrate that there are healthy ways to have fun without being intoxicated.

Trust the Process


It’s not even a matter of trusting the young person in recovery – it’s more important to trust the process of recovery – trust with the child will follow. Establishing a good relationship with a recovery community and believing that they have your child’s best interests is key for parents. Taking the time to research establishments and locating one that feels right is the most important thing a parent can do. This way, when they make decisions that affect your child – and they will – you will have confidence that they are doing it for their wellbeing.

Young people will give any reason they can think of as to why they do not need aftercare, and many parents acquiesce. This can be very dangerous though, as the time immediately following rehab is delicate, both for the body of someone who has just detoxed and for them emotionally as well. The professionals put a system in place because it works – rehab followed by aftercare – if parents will just trust the process!


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