How Do I Tell My Friends and Family I Have an Addiction?

Some people experience addiction in a way that is obvious to all those around them.  They may be visibly intoxicated on a regular basis and suffer extreme life consequences as a result.  Others, however, can maintain high functionality while actively experiencing addiction, and therefore friends and family may be entirely unaware that they need professional help.  Once you decide to seek treatment, it can be difficult to talk to those closest to you about your decision, especially if they had no idea that you were struggling. They may have questions that will be challenging to answer, but it is important to prepare yourself for honest and open communication so that your friends and family can support you on your recovery journey. 

If you were high functioning at the height of your addiction, your friends and family may question why you need to seek help at all.  This is especially true of alcohol addiction, in which case many of your friends may drink regularly and attempt to normalize your behavior.  It is important to remain firm in your own assessment of your relationship with drugs or alcohol. If you have any reason to believe you have a problem, trust your instincts and seek help as soon as possible.  Explain to your friends and family that although they may not have noticed the symptoms of your addiction, you are choosing to make your health and happiness a priority, and you will need their support to remain sober.

Another challenge you may face when speaking to loved ones about your substance abuse is the stigma and misinformation associated with addiction.  Despite research proving otherwise, many people still believe that addiction represents weakness, a character flaw, or a moral failing. Encourage your friends and family to educate themselves about the science of addiction, and ensure them that you are unable to quit on our own, or through willpower alone.  Whether your loved ones were unaware of your addiction, or they have suffered as a result of your substance abuse, your relationships are sure to improve after you seek treatment. Speak confidently about your decision to get help, and if necessary, distance yourself from those who are unwilling to offer support.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, now is the time to reach out for help.  At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.