10. Once the Person is in Rehab, Don’t Believe Everything You Hear
When you get calls from the person in rehab, listen to them when they talk about the rehabilitation facility but take their initial complaints with a grain of salt. Drugs are a powerful master and exert an overwhelming level of control over people, especially after they first arrive in rehab. The drive to get out of rehab and get more drugs will overpower many people’s desire to get sober. This is why some people try to smuggle drugs into a rehab or why they will find “vital” reasons why they “must” go home for a few days.
It’s unfortunate that some people in recovery are so driven to return to drug abuse that they will invent stories of upset, harm or danger, just to get families to come get them. Of course, you must pay attention to what they say, just in case there is some mismanagement at a facility. It is wise to build a personal relationship with someone in the center you feel you can have confidence in, just for this situation.
If you have done your homework in the beginning, you have chosen a facility you have confidence in and perhaps you have even talked to other parents of graduates from that program. When you are using your judgment in this matter, realize that the real enemy is drugs, and it may be the urge to use drugs again that is motivating the upsetting call you are having to deal with.
How to do it wrong: After many years of her heavy opiate abuse, a father sent his daughter to a rehab. Early in the program, before she found any relief from the cravings, she called her father repeatedly, crying, manipulating him, and asking him how could he send her away if he loved her? He relented and let her come home. The daughter immediately returned to opiate abuse.
How to do it right: When the daughter called home from the rehab and tried to manipulate her father’s emotions, the father was too sure of his choice of rehab to fall for her lies. He knew that the rehab had a good record of helping people recover so he decided he had to stick with his original decision. If he felt like wavering, he talked to the person at the facility he felt the most comfortable with and found out that his daughter was being a source of problems at the facility, but was actually just starting to respond to the steps of the program. A few months later, she completed the program that enabled her to stay sober for the long term.