Do you struggle with addiction? Are you ready to take the steps you need to give up your drug of choice?
If so, you need to start by telling your family members and loved ones that you have a problem.
It’s natural to feel unsure of how to deal with managing addiction and family relationships. You don’t have to go through these challenges alone, though.
Read on for some tips that will help share information with your family in a productive way.
Why Do You Need to Tell Your Family about Your Addiction?
You might be wondering why it’s so important to talk to your family members about your addiction.
It may be tempting to keep information about your addiction to yourself. But, this secrecy can also breed feelings of shame and resentment.
Talking to your family about addiction also helps them understand your behavior and see where you’re coming from.
When they know what you’re going through, they can provide you with the support you need and help you make difficult decisions like determining whether or not you need to go to a rehabilitation center.
Remember that addiction has a negative effect on your family members, too. Even if you think you’ve kept it hidden, chances are you haven’t actually hidden it very well.
By being open about your struggles, you give your family a chance to heal and move on from any challenges they’ve been facing.
How to Talk to Family Members about Addiction
As you can see, there are benefits that come from talking to your family about your addiction. But, it’s often easier said than done.
These strategies can help you figure out the best way to tell your family that you’re struggling with an addiction.
Find the Right Moment
First, it’s important to choose the right time to talk to your family members. You should tell them as soon as possible, but there are also certain times and places that are better than others.
For example, it’s not ideal to talk to your family while you’re eating out at a busy restaurant or while you’re in the middle of a party.
Instead, try to find a quiet, comfortable place to sit down with your family and talk uninterrupted.
When you’re talking to your family, it’s important to do what you can to educate them about your situation.
One in seven people in the United States struggle with substance abuse, but there’s still a lot of stigma around addiction. Your family may have preconceived notions about what an addict looks like, and they’ll likely have a lot of questions for you.
Be patient and tell your family as much as you can about what you’ve been struggling with and why you’re reaching out to them. Try to stay calm and answer their questions to the best of your abilities.
It’s also important to be honest and transparent about your addiction. Be open about where your addiction stemmed from (if you know) and don’t hide information to try and protect your family members.
You can still be tactful, of course. But, it’s important to be honest, especially if you believe your addiction was brought on by pressure or familial stress.
They may be upset to hear this at first. But, if you remain calm and explain your position clearly, they’ll be more likely to come around and see things from your point of view.
Take Responsibility for Your Actions
At the same time that you’re explaining how your family may have contributed to your addiction, it’s also important to make sure you’re taking responsibility for your own actions. Avoid passing blame and saying that your problems are all their fault.
Make it clear that you understand that your choices were your own. This can help your family members feel more at ease and more inclined to support you in your decision to seek help.
Attempt to Make Amends
It’s also important to start trying to make amends.
If you’ve seriously hurt members of your family (for example, if you’ve stolen from them or lied to them), it may take time for them to forgive you.
But, you still need to make an effort to seek forgiveness and explain that you are sorry. This will also show that you are taking responsibility for your actions and are ready to move forward and turn over a new leaf.
Share Your Action Plan
It’s not enough to apologize and take responsibility for your situation. You also need to explain to your family what you’re going to do to pursue recovery and change your ways.
Whether you plan to go to rehab, work with a counselor, or attend a support group, share clear, actionable steps with your family and ask them to hold you accountable.
You can also ask your family members if they know of anyone who can help you or provide you with additional support.
What if You Think Your Family Won’t Support You?
In a perfect world, your family would give you their full support and help you on the road to recovery. In reality, though, this isn’t always the case.
Sometimes, your family will not be supportive. If you think that this is the case for you, take a step back and think about who might be willing to listen.
Do you have a cousin or close friend you can confide in instead? Sometimes, it’s enough to have just one person on your side. Reach out to them and share your story with them, first.
Over time, as you work through recovery and start making changes, some of your more hesitant family members may be more willing to listen and give you their support.
Need Help Handling Addiction and Family Relationships?
These tips can go a long way when it comes to addressing addiction and family. If you need additional support, though, you may be able to benefit from working with an addiction counselor.
A counselor can give you more tips on how to talk to your family members and seek the help you need.
If you live in or around the Tucson area, consider contacting us at Recovery in Motion today.
We’re an accredited Arizona drug and alcohol treatment center, and we offer a variety of affordable in-patient and out-patient programs to help you in your journey to overcome your addiction.