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She Says She Won’t Do Residential Treatment

B&W Phone Bank

Da-mommy’s Loved One has called from detox multiple times. She says she’s won’t go on to residential: too many rules, etc. She lives an independent life otherwise, for the most part – what else can mom do to support her daughter during this raw time?

© Eduardo Sánchez via Unsplash

K is in detox right now… it's been 3 days.. she calls a couple of times a day & the last 2 phone calls have been her saying she's not going to stay… she's not going to the next step (residential) for the months. She says that there are too many rules in residential – out of room at 7, not able to lay down & rest during the day, chores, meetings etc…. I tried to explain to her that she needs to have a daily regiment-
I don't know what to do…. she lives in her own apartment – her dad & I pay half the rent – she pays the other half – she has a job….

Your daughter is in detox. She’s called a few times to say she is not going to the residential program once discharged from detox.

Family members hear a great number of things from Loved Ones in inpatient treatment. There are complaints about the food, the chores, the amenities, other people. Sometimes programs won’t allow calls home during this first stage, for this very reason. We’ve had situations where the Loved One called the family incessantly, with so many complaints that the family just pulled them out of treatment.

It’s a hard call. Of course you want your Loved One to feel heard; you’re always interested in building trust between you. You don’t want your Loved One getting bad treatment or being mistreated. But it can be tough to sort this all out from afar.

Treatment for a Loved One can feel like a closed box to the family. Communication between the treaters and the family can only happen with a release, and your Loved One may not have signed the form saying that the agency can talk with you.

Complicating matters further is the very short time period spent in a detoxification unit. What are the efforts being made by the aftercare planners to motivate your daughter to continue with residential care?

For the family, it can be quite an accomplishment to get a Loved One to go to detox. It must be quite scary and frustrating to watch this progress possibly evaporate, with your daughter back to where she may have started because she is unwilling to continue care.

But is she unwilling? What does your daughter propose to do to protect herself from relapse once back home? Ask her – and make sure to embrace CRAFT style communications, entering into the conversation, with genuine openness and curiosity, while avoiding being confrontational. If she’s unwilling to go to residential that is up to her. Can you accept that? So maybe she can do it without residential care. What community treatments can she attend? Let her tell you how she will do it. If she doesn’t have a plan, express how this feels for you. (Sad. Scared. At a loss….)

Addressing addiction can happen inpatient or in the community. We apologize for not getting this answer to you as swiftly as you may have needed it. Your daughter is out of detox by now. She decided to go home, probably.

The ball is in her court. As the family, you did what you could do to get her into detox. You helped her get into care, you figured out the follow-up care, and you supported her movement to more treatment.

The detox stay may have scared her. It may have invigorated her effort to stop using and to try abstinence. Many people don’t go further than detox and rely afterwards on community supports.

A community treatment list, stating your commitment to support and help her down the path to recovery, your love, and an understanding of your limits is what you have to work with. Take the time to regroup and assess what you can do and the reality of your limitations. With CRAFT, one of our mantras is “set it up again.” Keep focused on what you can do now, not what has failed in the past. This can be very challenging but helps conserve your energies for when they are needed in the moment. It can help provide clarity and lighten your load. You already have enough to bear.

Whatever happens, your daughter is on the move. She realizes she has a problem to the point of going into a detox. She went. She has an apartment and a job. Part of her must want and see a different future for herself. You are on the sidelines, sending in resources as they are warranted, and providing love and a willingness to help further.

Recovery efforts are messy and fraught with the “two steps forward, one step back” challenge…. Hang in there. Your daughter is thinking about her drug and alcohol problem: she has taken an important first step to be clear of them by going to detox. She may need to do this a couple more times – it’s impossible to predict. Hold on to yourselves as you face this uncertainty. Another mantra here is that “things change on a dime.” You want to be as grounded and prepared as possible whenever the opportunity next presents itself to step in. Give yourselves some credit for the ways in which you have been able to help. You’re doing all you can. Keep us posted …



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)

  1. This is an update on my daughter- she DID complete the residential- we picked her up on Sunday- she’s doing well… said she’d NEVER go back there again. She said she learned a lot about herself & will continue to. She’s enrolled in an IOP & seeing her therapist & psychiatrist. We continue to watch & rewatch the modules. One day at a time…..

    1. Da-Mommy, Hooray! She did it! Despite all expectations! Even despite her own reticence. Wonderful that she sees the positive, feels she has learned and understood a lot about herself — what could be better?? We are thrilled for you all. And it’s very smart that you continue to return to the modules, so that CRAFT will continue to work its magic all around you. Keep keeping us posted!

  2. This is one of my biggest worries IF I ever get my son to detox/rehab. I don’t know if I could listen to him telling me his side of things. But your daughter IS managing some things on her own. You always have the leverage of the 1/2 you pay of her rent. It’s so hard knowing if where you send your loved one is a good place or not. Moody2020

  3. Well the saga continues: she was “kicked out” of detox. When my daughter called us to inform us that she was being “kicked out”, my husband (who is a physician) was on the phone with her. He asked to speak to the nurse – my daughter gave permission but the nurse stated “I’m not speaking to your father” – which was heard by him. The staff called a cab & she showed up at our door. In the meantime, we had a connection at Swift River which we couldn’t afford) who has a friend who is director of admissions at a facility about an hour away. These 2 wonderful people got her a bed on the detox floor. We drove our daughter to this facility & after speaking to them, she wasn’t being properly weaned down from the Suboxone that she was on. We left our daughter in their hands & she called a few hours later saying she was feeling so much better. We’re now praying that with this POSITIVE weaning down (detox) she’ll agree to continue on to their residential program. By the way, she’s been clean from the “bad” drugs for 7 days – that’s a positive & with all the negativity she’d been through, she CONTINUED TO WANT to get clean.

    1. Goodness. Detoxes are limited to those for whom it is medically necessary. I didn’t know you could be thrown out. How do they justify it medically? Here is the complaint number to the Bureau of Addiction Services who regulates detoxification programs. They should hear this story. You can always find the number on our Massachusetts page under resources.

      Complaint line: 617.624.5171 fax: 617.624.5599 (secure line and fax)

      I have seen insurance pay for Swift River. It is worth pushing on insurance right away should your daughter continue in their residential program.

      Your daughter’s desire to get free of the bad drugs is holding despite the circus. YES! Please give her our best. We’re rooting for her. Thank you for writing in. I hope you and your husband are able to put down the worry. Family members go to extraordinary lengths to help their Loved Ones. Thank goodness you are there for her. May the next few days be calm and productive for all of you.