Most individuals with substance abuse issues find it had to discuss it with family members. To some of them, the experience is frightening. That’s because most addicts struggle as much as possible to hide their addiction. They work particularly harder to ensure that their loved ones and the people they admire do not know about it. As such, disclosing an addiction issue to family members is not easy.
But, most addicts are unable to hide their problems longer. That’s because drug addiction or alcoholism is a disease. That’s why it’s called a substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder. It’s like diabetes, asthma, or any other chronic illness. Therefore, its effects on the behavioral health, mental health, and physical health of a person eventually appear. When this happens, hiding the problem becomes impossible.
What Makes Talking to Family about a Substance Abuse Problem Difficult?
People have different reasons for not talking about this problem or even seeking help from drug rehab for families on AddictionResource. For instance, some individuals fear rejection from family members. A person can fear being divorced or separated from loved ones on realizing that they abuse drugs. Others don’t know how their family members will react to this revelation.
In some cases, teens fear punishment and physical retribution from parents. Nobody wants to be seen as a family disappointment. Therefore, many people continue struggling with their substance abuse problems even when they wish their loved ones could know and possibly assist.
However, talking to your family about your substance abuse problem can mark the beginning of your recovery journey. That’s because your family might be ready and able to help you overcome addiction and lead a sober life.
Tips for Talking to Family about Your Addiction
Addiction is a stressful and confusing illness. Research has shown that stress is a risk factor for addiction development. However, addiction can also cause stress. That’s because many addicts don’t know how to confront their substance abuse problems. They also make mistakes under the influence and these bring more stress into their lives. However, you can confront this stress and confusion to openly talk about your addiction to loved ones. Here are useful tips to guide you.
Pick an Ideal Venue
Aim to talk about your substance abuse issue with your family as soon as possible. However, don’t talk about it in the wrong place. Instead, find an ideal place and time to have this conversation. This will enable your loved ones to listen to you attentively and probably guide you. For instance, a loved one can suggest that you seek help from a couples’ rehab. Choosing a comfortable and quiet environment will enable you to open up and have a smooth conversation.
Practice Before Talking
Admitting that you have a substance abuse problem can surprise your family. But, if they were suspecting it, they may not be surprised. Nevertheless, prepare for this conversation because it elicits emotional reactions and uncomfortable questions. Be prepared for any eventuality to avoid being blindsided.
Lying is one of the characteristics of addicts. For instance, most people with a substance abuse problem lie about their problems. They don’t disclose factors that could be the cause of their addiction. Sharing the truth about their problem with loved ones is always hard. However, it’s crucial to be honest, once you decide to open up about your problem. Also, own up to the consequences of your choices and actions that may have led to addiction. This will show your family that you’re honestly ready to quit and reform.
Listen to Your Family
The reactions of your family members may be unpredictable. Some of them might not understand what addiction is and how it affects a person. Your partner can even suggest that you immediately go to rehab for couples. It’s crucial to listen to their views and exhibit a positive response. Even if some of your family members become confused, angry, or shocked, show your understanding. Bear in mind where all family members are coming from and this will enable you to stay calm and take every reaction positively.
Don’t Let Fear Get on Your Way
As stated, most people fear being seen as family disappointments. As such, they opt to keep their addiction problem to themselves. Unfortunately, this only worsens things and their loved ones eventually know about their problem. Fear can be a hindrance to your recovery.
Whether you’re a teen or a partner in a marriage, don’t let fear get in your way. Instead, come out clean and talk about your addiction. Although this behavior is understandable, it should not be the reason why you won’t have this important conversation with your family.
Don’t fear disappointing your partner or parents because you will worsen the situation if you wait longer. After all, disappointments from the people that we love are normal. What matters is how remorseful they are on realizing that they disappointed their loved ones.
Even if your family members react disappointingly, know that they will eventually come around. Eventually, they will focus on helping you overcome your addiction to lead a clean, sober life. If family members react harshly to express disappointment, just let them know that you’re sorry. And, if they suggest that you go to a couples’ drug rehab, talk about together. Decide on what’s best for you with their assistance.
The Bottom Line
Talking to family about a substance abuse problem can be the first step of a recovery journey. And, the sooner a person talks about it the earlier they can start the treatment. Thus, opening up about a substance abuse problem is better than suffering alone. But, speaking to your family may not be enough. You also need to seek immediate assistance to prevent further damage from being caused by abused substances. That’s why you should talk about going to rehab for married couples with your family. Know the options that you have in terms of inpatient and outpatient programs. This will enable you to make a more informed choice when selecting a treatment facility.