How Do I Explain DUI Jail Time to My Family?

October 7, 2023

Written By: Dr. Kristina Honiotes DNP,RN,NEA-BC

Serving time for a DUI can be a pivotal moment in your recovery where you gain structure in your life and begin healing from substance use disorder (SUD) or other unhealthy relationships with alcohol and other drugs. However, serving time for a DUI comes with its challenges. One major challenge is figuring out how to explain DUI jail time to your family and children. This can be an overwhelming task that many clients struggle with and look to avoid. However, there are tools you can use to open up to your families honestly.

Buena Vista Recovery offers family services to clients. These services can support you in explaining your DUI jail time to your family. In counseling sessions, you and your family will learn how to produce a safe space for all members, including children. Learning how to explain DUI jail time to children is also a process learned in recovery.

Coping With a DUI and Recovery

Serving jail time for a DUI can be a stressful period, and it is important to learn how to cope with this stress before taking on the challenge of explaining the DUI to your family. Sometimes, those who drive under the influence have a history of trauma-related stress correlating to poorer, riskier decision-making. It is important to address the stressors in your life as well as the stress of serving time in order to maintain focus and stability during the process.

Likewise, the idea of sobriety when serving time may be stressful. You, like many other clients, may experience severe withdrawal symptoms as you attempt to cease your substance use. Fortunately, treatment facilities offer medically managed detoxification services to help you best navigate withdrawal and cope with stress in your life. In addition, self-care approaches – like journaling, breathwork, or other mindfulness techniques – can be beneficial to better understand your feelings and to have a healthy outlet for stress.

How Does Buena Vista Recovery Assist Clients After Serving Jail Time?

Buena Vista Recovery assists clients after serving jail time for a DUI by providing numerous treatment pathways. Once time has been served, clients have been sober for some period. However, not all jail facilities have the amenities that each client requires. Buena Vista Recovery works to curate personalized treatment plans that meet the client’s needs. Each client is unique, and their time served in jail may have allowed them to progress in their recovery journey to a greater extent than others. Everyone’s recovery journey timeline is valid and normal. 

Treatment programs at Buena Vista Recovery include inpatient rehabilitation, partial hospitalization (PHP), intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and general outpatient treatment. Clients are also offered a variety of therapies, including 12-Step programs, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), grief therapy, group therapy, and individual therapy.

Buena Vista Recovery works to help clients heal from their addiction fully, addressing all underlying causes of their addiction as well as any mental health disorders/symptoms that arise. The main purpose of recovery is to sustain long-lasting sobriety, and Buena Vista Recovery works to achieve that. Community and family are also two key components of recovery that the facility works to curate during treatment. 

How Do I Explain DUI Jail Time to My Family?

As you attempt to explain your DUI jail time to your family, you may feel overwhelmed, especially if children are involved. It is important to take a calm approach that focuses on your recovery journey as a whole, rather than focusing on one bump in the road. When discussing DUI jail time with other adults, it is beneficial to discuss all of the components of your recovery. This means explaining your jail time, the steps you plan on taking, the treatments and/or therapies you are using to heal, and how your family can support this process. 

As for children, it is important to highlight more of the positives of recovery. DUI jail time can interfere with family lives drastically. With children, it is important to have them recognize that a mistake was made, but more importantly that you are moving past that in a healthy way. Children look up to their parents, and they often cannot fully grasp DUI jail time or addiction recovery depending on their age. Thus, it is important to discuss the matter in a lighthearted way that emphasizes the progressive movement away from this moment.

How Can Buena Vista Recovery Help Clients Looking to Explain DUI Jail Time to Their Families?

Family is such a crucial element of the recovery journey. Buena Vista Recovery is passionate about involving family members in the recovery process as well as developing more openness and honesty with them. Case managers at the facility work with and follow the process of each client’s recovery journey. Moreover, a case manager will curate a personalized plan for you and your family to keep your family involved in your recovery journey as much as possible.

At Buena Vista Recovery, healing begins with individual therapy. Individual therapy can help you to fully understand your addiction and how to avoid triggers and relapse. The main goal of individual therapy is to maintain focus on the recovery journey, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and work to fully heal and understand the addiction at hand. In addition, family therapy can help to foster deeper understanding and healthier communication between all family members.

By pairing family and individual therapy together, you can learn to express yourself healthily and navigate your recovery journey in a progressive way. While DUI jail time is a bump in the road, it is not a dead end, and Buena Vista Recovery has the means that you are your family need to understand this and move forward together to establish lasting healing and sobriety as a together as a family. 

Here at Buena Vista Recovery, we understand that DUI jail time can drastically impact families and be overwhelming to explain to families and children. Taking a calm approach to explaining DUI jail time is best, and focusing on progress and positive movement in recovery sits best with children. Buena Vista Recovery works to involve families in the recovery journey, and having that ability to reach a mutual understanding of the addiction is key for optimal support and the best recovery results. Serving DUI jail time is only a small bump in the recovery path. To learn more about family involvement, serving DUI jail time, and working towards a sober life, please call us at (480) 741-9414.