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How to Disclose Your Addiction to a Loved One

Delivering news that you know will be unpleasant is always hard. This could include something like informing someone of a mistake, loss, or lie. When it comes to disclosing the fact that you are struggling with substance addiction, you could get various responses.

Let’s first discuss who you may want or need to share this information with. It can be common for those struggling with addiction to hide their problems from others. This often leads to dishonesty, mistrust, and even strained relationships. When things become tense, and you feel the need to lie to your loved ones, this may indicate that it is time to be honest and disclose your addiction.

Telling a Spouse or Partner

Informing your spouse or partner of your addiction can be challenging. You may fear rejection or a negative response. The risk of losing the person can sometimes be enough to keep you from telling the truth.

Sooner or later, those close to you will become aware that something isn’t right. When it comes to your spouse or partner, chances are, they have already become a little suspicious. When you are struggling with addiction, your behavior tends to change, priorities shift, and you may display some signs of dishonesty or secrecy.

If your spouse or partner has noticed any of these signs, they may already have an idea of the issue. Having an open and honest conversation could help them feel more justified in their feelings and observations.

Telling a Parent or Sibling

Sharing with a parent or sibling that you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be equally challenging. Often, we want our family members to be proud of us. Making good choices is something that many families aim to instill in their children. Knowing your parents or family will be disappointed can be a barrier to breaking the news. Addiction does tend to impact the whole family.

One of the things to keep in mind is that, in most cases, your family members love you unconditionally. This means that even if you share some information that they may not like, they will still love and support you.

Being open and honest about your struggles can often improve your relationships with family members. Again, they have likely noticed a shift in your behavior and actions and may feel a little relieved to know that you are aware of the issue and willing to talk about it.

Telling a Friend or Roommate

Informing a friend or roommate of your addiction can be a bit uncomfortable. Your friends or roommates may also drink alcohol or use drugs. They might be struggling with addiction as well, or maybe they consider themselves to be more recreational users.

In this case, talking to them about your addiction may or may not alter their behavior or decisions. However, being clear about your concerns and your decision to seek support is important. You may need to evaluate the friendship or reconsider your living situation if they do not support you or do not share similar goals.

On the contrary, you may still have some friends who don’t use substances, or perhaps you live with roommates who do not share your lifestyle. Ideally, these people will encourage you to seek help and will support you in your efforts to get clean.

How to Break the News

When it comes time to have the difficult conversation, be sure you are prepared. You want to be sure you schedule enough time to have the conversation, as there may be follow-up questions or a discussion. Most likely, the person you are delivering the information to is going to want to talk through options for getting help.

Be sure to have the conversation in an appropriate environment. This is not a conversation you want to have in a public place. Struggling with substance abuse can come with some shame and guilt and certainly carries a fair share of stigma. Having the conversation in a private place can make all parties more comfortable.

Lastly, be honest. Most likely, there have been some instances that have resulted in a lack of trust up to this point. As a result, it is very important to be upfront about your struggles and make an effort to be fully transparent about how addiction is affecting you.

Having this conversation can often come as a result of the decision to seek treatment. At Enlightened Solutions, we help facilitate communication and provide guidance when it comes to mending broken relationships. Our family program helps to inform your loved ones about your situation and provides tools for navigating the healing and recovery process. Disclosing your addiction to those you care about is never easy, but it is an essential step toward recovery.

Discussing your struggle with substance abuse with loved ones can be challenging. You may receive negative feedback, judgment, rejection, or worse. It is important, however, to share your struggle with those who may be in a position to support you or encourage you to seek help. They may also serve as a great support system as you exit treatment and enter recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a family program that helps to facilitate communication and growth among family members and loved ones in treatment. We help create understanding and encourage methods for healing everyone involved. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

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