Whether you are a teenager or an adult, telling your family that you have a substance addiction can be tough. A great deal of fear, guilt and shame can accompany your decision to be forthcoming. Your family may be greatly relieved to hear the news of your addiction. They have been extremely worried about you, and didn’t know what to do. Telling them could lead you to getting the help you need, like therapy and inpatient treatment.
There’s no right or wrong way to tell your family about your addiction to drugs, alcohol or both.
It’s a good idea to plan ahead by asking for a specific time when you can sit down with them. If you are in therapy, ask your therapist to help you plan out what you are going to say. If you are afraid you won’t be able to articulate the extent of your addiction, you can write a letter ahead of time and then read it to them. It’s a good idea to ask your family to please not interrupt you while you are speaking. Strive to be honest and direct, and don’t minimize.
On the other hand, you can’t be sure how your family is going to react. That’s why you want to be prepared incase the information you are divulging backfires. Another option is not to tell your family until you have been clean and sober for an extended period of time. That way, you have time to look at, and work on, issues surrounding guilt, shame and fear.
Depending upon your family’s relationship with drugs and alcohol, it may not be a good idea to tell them at all. It’s not that you want to keep a secret. It’s about protecting yourself, since, newly clean or sober, you might be in a vulnerable state of mind. If your family are heavy drinkers, they could be in denial and not want to hear about your disease. They could even say, now we’ve lost our best drinking buddy!
If you are a teenager, and at the mercy of your family, in terms of the help they may or may not want to provide, check in with a therapist or guidance counselor. He or she could have some good ideas where you can get the help you need. Try to keep in mind that you have your whole life ahead of you. You are so brave to confront your addiction head on!
Here at Infinity Malibu we offer medically supervised comfortable detox, licensed case management, and 24/7 clinical support. Our goal is to make sure when you leave these beautiful facilities your recovery will be lasting. Call today and get the support you need. 888-266-9048