Acknowledging the need for treatment to address addiction and its devastating effects is a cause for celebration. It can be exceptionally difficult to recognize when the disease has manifested and admit the need for professional help. However, even though this experience is a crucial first step, many of those looking to begin their journey to sobriety are often met with a first major hurdle – how can they tell their family and loved ones about their addiction? Wanting to tell the family is great, and there are always effective ways for each individual to approach such a vulnerable and difficult conversation with the right intentions and expectations for the future.
Why It’s Difficult to Tell the Family
Even those who have acknowledged the need for change and sobriety in themselves can find it difficult to tell the family about their desire to pursue treatment or address addiction and its effects. There can be a myriad of barriers in place. Some may feel that, even if they were to tell the family, they would not be understood. Others may even feel as if they would be judged for such needs, rather than feeling supported in their journey for change. Further, some may also find it exceptionally difficult to tell the family because it would open further conversation about past mistakes made, and pervasive feelings of guilt can make it difficult to tell the family at all.
Lastly, many may find it difficult to tell the family due to how much change may follow. Change can be a daunting prospect, and even those who recognize the need for sobriety can still have reservations in the face of future uncertainty. Each of these elements compounded together can make it difficult to really open a dialogue about addiction and treatment, even if an individual recognizes how they would benefit from dedicated detox or residential programs.
Educating the family about addiction is vital for everyone to share the benefits of recovery. For more details, call Hawaii Island Recovery at (866) 390-5070.More info
Strategies to Tell the Family About Addiction
Each individual will always have options when it comes to how to approach a conversation about addiction with the family, and there are many different strategies available when approaching the subject. Consider some of the following suggestions:
Choose the Right Time and Place to Tell the Family
Deciding to tell the family about addiction and the need for professional detox and treatment is a profound decision. However, an individual doesn’t have to rush into the conversation. Rather, it can be more impactful to carefully choose a time and place to have such an important dialogue.
Ensuring that all family members will be present and that there is enough time to actually discuss the situation is paramount. Avoiding trying to cram the conversation into an already filled schedule to prevent rushing through it is necessary. Likewise, it is important to choose a place where a person feels safe and that is devoid of other distractions, like public spaces, televisions left on, or other noisy or distracting elements.
Take Your Time
It is important not to rush these conversations themselves, either. Not only may family members have to process their own thoughts, but each individual should also award themselves with sufficient time to express what they need as well. Taking time to slowly work through thoughts and emotions, ask questions, and more is all part of a successful approach to telling the family about addiction, and beginning the journey to sobriety together with their support.
Being willing to take some time before the conversation can also be beneficial. Writing down what a person intends to say, editing it, and even rehearsing the conversation can all help to ensure the best possible communication during such an emotional conversation.
Addiction is a complicated disease. Unfortunately, many prevalent stigmas can still impact a person’s perception of addiction and their understanding of it. Educating oneself about addiction as a disease, any mental health disorders and their impact, and working with Hawaii Island Recovery to better understand and express how it affects an individual can all help to educate each person about the challenges ahead and the changes needed to be made. This can also help families better understand the situation and provide the best possible support and understanding for a unified approach to sobriety.
Acknowledge the Past
Many family members may already be aware of the effects of one’s substance use or may have noticed changes in an individual resulting from the use of drugs or alcohol. Being willing to acknowledge the role that addiction has played is paramount, as it can help clear the air and open an atmosphere for the most honest possible dialogue. While exceptionally difficult, knowing that many family members may already be aware of addiction can empower those needing sober change to address the situation with honesty going forward.
Ask For Help
It can be difficult to ask for help with anything, especially when it comes to overcoming addiction. However, knowing the options available like the detox programs and outpatient treatment at Hawaii Island Recovery’s Big Island substance abuse center can all help to create a support plan, as well as outline exactly how families can help each person through such a difficult time of change.
Setting expectations with family and working with professionals to learn how families can continue to support the journey to sobriety can ensure that entire families are committed to this important sober change and providing the best environment for a sustainable sober future.
Taking the first step into treatment and recovery and telling the family about the need for sobriety is a massive step. Each individual should celebrate their newfound commitment to their own health. However, that doesn’t mean telling the family about addiction or its effects is easy. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we understand the barriers in place to not only taking this first step but also the vulnerability it takes to discuss these needs with family members. We can help you learn to talk to your family about addiction, and can even personalize your recovery plan and incorporate family programming to ensure a unified approach to sobriety. For more information about our Big Island substance abuse center, call (866) 390-5070.