Witnessing a loved one enter and accept rehab can influence positive and negative emotions. You’ll likely feel proud, relieved, relaxed, and optimistic. Yet there’s also a chance that you’ll feel worried, shut off, and doubtful.

It’s normal to feel a mixture of emotions. Rehab may have been a long-awaited revelation for you and your family. Although a positive step, it’s also common to feel empty, alone, and anxious, especially if you’ve had great involvement this far.

Your input, awareness and supportive intentions can however remain, by keeping in touch with your friend or loved one, by visiting them, and by easing their recovery process.

Here’s some insight into the next steps, from the level of involvement that you can have to the type of support you can access as we answer, ‘can you visit a friend or loved one that’s in rehab?’. At Ocean Recovery, we’re supportive of involvement, positive visits and handheld recovery journeys. Here are our rules, restrictions, and outlooks on rehab visits.


Rules and restrictions around visiting someone in Addiction Rehab

Some rehab clinics will have restrictions in place regarding visits. For example, restrictions may be in place to protect extremely vulnerable people or those with highly sensitive diagnoses. Yet the majority of facilities will have rules in place, which prioritise the wellbeing, privacy, and quality of life of clients.

Visits are encouraged here at Ocean Recovery. Offering inpatient rehab programmes, we’re aware of how difficult distance and time away, from loved ones, can be. We recommend positive visits to benefit our clients, along with benefitting their family, friends, relationships, and support networks.

There are periods where visits will be paused throughout addiction treatment, such as the detoxification phase or if a mental health crisis occurs. We complete risk assessments throughout the entire rehab process to gauge whether visits will be accepted, beneficial and appropriate. Rules are in place on a per-client basis, as some may experience higher risks than others.

Throughout the majority of the rehab process, friends, family, children and even pet visits are accepted. If face-to-face contact is in the best interests of all parties and is welcomed by all, visits can in fact be very positive. They are known to motivate clients through recovery, they help to break up the rehab timeline, they reassure loved ones, and they provide feelings of companionship and unity. Visiting a friend or loved one that’s in rehab can act as a pick me up.

Interactivity with pets or children for example can be really good for mental health. Offering comfort and a homely feel, a visit can increase progress and remind clients of their goals and intentions.

In response to ‘can you visit a friend or loved one that’s in rehab?’, it will all depend on internal rules, the step of the rehabilitation process and how beneficial a visit will be. We mostly answer with yes, yet in some situations, visits will be paused to focus on recovery.


Finding support for yourself when someone you care about is in Rehab

The recovery process can be difficult to watch from the sidelines. Whether you are visiting a loved one, or not, support is available to work through the process.

A drug and alcohol addiction is an impactful condition that affects loved ones, friends, and further associates. It can damage relationships, have a domino effect on the health and wellbeing of others, and can be an exhausting process to work through.

Helping a loved one should also include some self-care, to make sure that you’re in the right headspace and position to communicate or visit them. You must prioritise yourself to have the energy, commitment, and mental strength to visit or support a friend. There are a wealth of resources to make use of, offering support for families and friends.

Family therapy is also available through addiction treatment, to bridge gaps, make visits worthwhile and offer all-around recovery. Old wounds can be worked through, trust can be increased, and awareness can be advanced for a mutually beneficial session. We promote family therapy here at Ocean Recovery to normalise visits and to benefit support networks.


Communicating with someone in Rehab

Regular communication can also benefit your loved one or friend through rehab. It’s important to find the right approach and means of communication.

A compassionate approach will be encouraged whilst writing letters, speaking over pre-arranged calls, or attending rehab for visits. You should maintain a transparent, trustworthy, and committed relationship, to support their recovery process. You should avoid confronting, judgmental, enabling, or stressful communication, all found to distract, deter, and damage addiction recovery.

It’s normal to feel out of your depth. Yet it’s encouraged to place yourself in the shoes of your friend or loved one, to empathise and offer support rather than a cause for further substance abuse.

At Ocean Recovery, we’re here to offer support for families and friends, whether that’s through appropriate communication, through intervention or through rehab itself. Reach out for our guidance or keep reading for our key pointers on rehab visits.


Can you visit a friend or loved one that’s in Rehab?

  • Yes, you can visit our rehab clinic. All rehab clinics have different rules and regulations which you should consider before visiting.
  • Children can visit under the acceptance of their caregiver.
  • Visits must be in the best interest of all parties.
  • Visits can be highly beneficial, helping to improve moral, mental health, and motivation.
  • Pets can visit for pet therapy.
  • Visits are discouraged through key addiction treatment sessions, such as an alcohol or drug detox.
  • Visits should be positive, communication should be compassionate, and a supportive approach should be followed.
  • Pre-arranged communication can be organised through rehab if you’d prefer personal calls over visits.

If you’re worried about a loved one, a family and friend referral or intervention can be completed to start the process. From here, you can have full involvement and also benefit from treatment, arranged as family therapy here at Ocean Recovery.




John Gillen - Author - Last updated: February 15, 2024

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.