When any type drug, prescription or otherwise, is taken for reasons other than necessary treatment or relief of symptoms, or alcohol use (yes, alcohol is a drug) goes beyond that of what is considered “social” or moderate, this is known as substance abuse. Substance abuse treatment, therefore, may need to be done in steps or levels.
Because substance abuse has the tendency to cause or heighten physical problems as a result of the abuse, patients must sometimes be treated in a regular hospital or medical center setting before actual addiction treatment can begin. Once the patient is considered healthy enough to progress, then the actual abuse treatment and rehabilitation can be implemented.
While the patient is being treated for the physical problems, the family may be allowed to see the patient. However, if the family is told that they should wait until the patient has reached a certain level of progress, then that may be the case.
When this happens, the family can still show the patient that they care. Cards can be sent, even if the patient does not immediately see or get to read them. Phone calls to the doctor or other health care providers can be made on a regular basis; any good doctor, nurse, or other professional will let the patient know that someone has called.
Once the patient is allowed visitors, the family and friends (if that is possible) should come in person as soon as possible. By then, the patient will probably really wanting to see someone from the outside world, and who better than a family member.
This is not the time to worry about feelings being hurt, or to have fears of rejection. Even if that possibility exists, that should not stand in the way of a physical visit, especially from family.