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Telling Your Friends And Family You’re Going To Rehab

Deciding to seek help for an addiction is no easy task. The first steps down the path to recovery can be intimidating and overwhelming. While accepting that you need help is certainly one of the hardest parts of the treatment journey, it is natural to be concerned about any possible negative outcomes of your decision. Telling your friends and family that you’re going to rehab may strike fear of a negative reaction.

The effects of addiction are not just limited to the user. The lives and mental health of a user’s social circle, their friends and family, can be equally impacted. Because of this, it is important to consider these people once you have decided to go to rehab for treatment. It may be stressful to wonder how your friends and family might react when you open up to them about your addiction struggles and the decision you have made to seek help. Despite this anxiety, a strong support group is a huge component to the rehab process so having your friends and family on board is essential.

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Here are some tips for telling your friends and family that you are going to rehab.

Pick A Time And Place

When breaking the news to your friends and family, having a plan is key. To avoid an ambush, it is best to set aside a good amount of time for this potentially difficult conversation. You don’t want to tell your mom you’re going to get treatment for an addiction as she is rushing out to get groceries. An admission of this level in that kind of situation could be very overwhelming. Give your friends and family all the time they may need to process and accept what you have told them.

The location of this conversation can be just as important. You will want to choose a location where the person you are telling will feel comfortable to express themselves. A public place like a restaurant is not ideal as being surrounded by other people won’t allow everyone in the conversation to speak freely.

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Be Open And Honest

Up to this point, it’s possible that you haven’t been fully honest with the people in your life. While specific details may not be necessary, this conversation is an opportunity to be open and share the depth of your struggle with addiction. Disclosing some of your dishonesty and shortcomings will likely prove to your friends and family that going to rehab is an earnest decision. It is also possible your friends and family already know you haven’t been truthful with them and coming clean can also establish a sense of trust.

Be Understanding

As mentioned previously, addiction can affect everyone in a user’s life. Your struggle with an addiction has likely caused struggles for your friends and family. Because their hardships correlate to yours, their feelings are just as significant. When telling your friends and family that you’re going to rehab, it’s important to validate their feelings and perspective on the situation. Let them know you understand and accept how they feel. In the same vein, you should make it known that the lines of communication are open by welcoming any questions or concerns they may have. This conversation may also be a good time to tell your friends and family that you are sorry for any negativity your addiction has caused them and that you are ready to go to rehab to reduce the chance of further pain.

Write A Letter

If sitting face to face with your friends and family is too daunting, there are other forms of communication you can use to share your decision to go to rehab. One of these options is to write letters to all the people you wish to inform. While very different than a conversion, a letter is still a very personal way to communicate. Additionally, with a letter you will be able to be more intentional with what you say and how you word your news. This also eliminates their ability to react in real time which may put less stress on you and give them more time to process the information.

Don’t Try To Predict The Unknown

Trying to predict how other people will respond to something can be very exhausting. You will never truly know how your friends and family will react to the fact that you have been struggling with addiction and have chosen to go to rehab until you tell them. For this reason, the most helpful tip is to remember that you have already done the hardest part which is accepting you need help. Being confident and secure in that decision will make the other steps in the treatment process, including telling your friends and family that you are going to rehab, much easier.

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