Speaking Openly with Loved Ones about Addiction and the Need for Treatment

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Calendar icon Last Updated: 09/16/2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Once you realize that your drug use is out of control, you will probably need to tell your loved ones that you are an addict. When you decide to talk to them, it is very important to make sure that they are in a position to listen. You can do a few things to prepare yourself for this conversation.

Why Talk to Your Loved Ones?

Part of the problem with talking with your loved ones about your addiction is that you do not know what to say. It is a good idea to think of why you are talking to your loved ones. Some of the reasons why might be:

  • you hurt them
  • they’ve noticed your strange behavior
  • they are worried about you
  • you want their help with treatment
  • you want their support
  • you are going away for treatment and you need them to know

Knowing the reasons why you are having the conversation helps you know what to say when you are speaking openly to your friends and family about your addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the support of your loved ones can help you during treatment.

Consider Who you Want to Talk to

Picking who you want to talk to is as important as why you want to talk. You need to pick people who do not use drugs and who will understand that you are trying to better yourself by finally kicking the addiction. If you are telling your close family, expect things like disbelief, anger, and possibly resentment.

Gather Everyone in the Right Place at the Right Time

Speaking Openly with Loved Ones

When you tell your loved ones about your addiction, pick a time that works well for everyone involved.

The right place and time is extremely important. You want those that you are telling to be relaxed and open to what you are saying. Obviously, you are telling them about your addiction for a reason, you should make sure they are listening.

A place that is crowded or where you might be overheard is not suitable. You want a quiet comfortable place that is neutral to just about everyone. You also want to schedule it when the people you are telling have the time to listen. Make sure no one has to rush off to somewhere else right away. Coordinating schedules might be difficult.

Ask for Opinions and Solutions

After you say what you need to, ask for opinions and solutions to the obvious problem. Let the people you have gathered tell you what they think. If for some reason someone gets confrontational, ask him or her to leave. This is not the time for confrontation.

Listen to Those Around you

Make sure that you listen to what others say. Take their suggestions to heart and think about them. You should discard the treatment options that do not fit with what you need. Remember part of the reason why you wanted to talk to your family is to seek their counsel and advice.