How to Tell Someone they Cannot Come Home

It is difficult to tell someone that you do not want them to come home immediately after they complete a drug or alcohol inpatient program. Most people try and dance around the idea or ask the person to stay with friends causing a relapse or worse. It is very difficult but there are options.

According to the National Library of Medicine, sober houses are a viable alternative to returning home when someone needs some time before they reenter normal society or go home. Although it is difficult, it is important for you and for them to state that you would like them to go to a sober house after inpatient treatment. There are ways to go about telling them they cannot come home.

Ask Them Their Plans

The first thing that you should do is ask what they intend to do. It might be that a sober house has already been suggested to them. Some inpatient hospitals suggest that residents spend time in a sober house as part of their after care. It just depends on the patient’s progress and their overall ability to live on their own.

Tell Them your Fears

Cannot Come Home

Let your loved one know why you think sober living is the best option for them.

When you talk to them about their plans, tell them what you fear. Some common fears are:

  • the drug or alcohol use will resume again
  • they will start stealing again
  • the isolation will start
  • the issues with others will start again
  • the domestic abuse will start again
  • the treatment will fail

When you tell them what you fear, be honest but not judgmental. It is important that they do not feel as if you are condemning them. Make sure that they know that you still love them and want the best for them.

Discuss Their Options

Make sure they know about sober houses and sober living. Let them know that they have options or a way out. Although that way out is not returning home with you, there are still places for them to go that will support their recovery better than you can. Explain that you cannot help them but still support what they are doing. Make certain they know that there are options when it comes to sober houses and sober living communities.

Explain the Benefits of a Sober House

If they do not already know explain to them what a sober house is and why they should go there. Some of the benefits that you can point out are:

  • they have others there that are in the same situation
  • that there are programs such as counseling and continued medication management
  • that many sober houses have other forms of training and help for them
  • that there are sober activities for them to participate in

By explaining the benefits your loved one might realize the benefits of living in a sober residence for themselves.

You Can’t Come Home: Telling your Son He Needs a Sober House

Find a Sober House for Them to Go To

One of the most important things to do is to find a sober house for them to go to so you are prepared when you talk to them. You can do this by calling 800-953-3913 (Who Answers?).

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: ARK Behavioral Health, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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