Tips for Telling Loved Ones about Your Addiction

If you have a drug or alcohol addiction, your family and friends can be a great source of strength and encouragement when you decide you want to get help from a Fort Collins substance abuse counselor to beat it. Unfortunately, most people who have a dependency work hard for years to hide their condition, so revealing it can be very difficult. But, it can be done and it is an important first step in the healing process.


How to Share Your Story with Family and Friends

As you prepare to tell loved ones about your drug or alcohol addiction, keep these tips from our experienced Fort Collins substance abuse counselors in mind:

Be completely open and honest about your problem. The only thing that feels worse than not telling the people you care about that you have a problem is giving them a watered-down version of the truth and then regretting that you didn’t tell them the whole story. You need their help, and they’ll be most eager to provide it when they can tell that you are giving them the unvarnished truth. There are three things you should be looking to communicate: “I have a problem. It’s serious. I need your help to beat it.”

It’s possible (or even likely) that they already know. No matter how hard you’ve tried to hide your dependency, the people closest to you might have a pretty good idea about what’s going on in your life. You may find that it makes you angry when you discover that they knew but had been “playing along” with all the excuses you used to cover for your addictive behavior. But, a more positive way to look at it is that they respect you and wanted

to give you time to come to your own resolution.

You may get a negative response. The fact that you have been hiding your drug or alcohol abuse from your family may make them angry, sad, disappointed, etc. Hopefully, they will come around quickly and provide the support you need. But initially, they may need some time to work through their negative feelings. You should be understanding of that.

Be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster. Revealing your dependency can provide a tremendous sense of relief. No longer do you have to lie to the people you love. However, after your revelation comes the hard work of rehab. While it is absolutely worth the effort, recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction is no easy task.

Have some thoughts in mind for how they can help. Your loved ones will likely want to do all they can to assist you. Be ready to take advantage of that forward momentum by having a plan in mind and an idea of where they fit into it.

The Support You Need to Beat Addiction
 As our Fort Collins substance abuse counselors tell the people we work with, treatment is most effective when family and friends are aware of the challenges you face and can lend their support. When you feel you are ready to tell them, don’t hesitate. And when you’re ready to talk with us about getting started in one of our programs, call 970-494-4200 to learn more about our offerings. If you or a loved one needs help with an immediate mental or emotional crisis, you can reach our Access Center at that same phone number 24/7. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.

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