How to Tell Your Loved Ones You’re an Addict

Admitting that you have a substance abuse problem can be very difficult. Even though you may have been struggling for some time, openly stating that you’re an addict is likely to be tough. Many addicts feel ashamed or guilty while others are afraid of the reaction they’ll get. They fear the people they love will walk away when they learn the truth. Therefore, it takes lots of bravery to tell a family member or close friend that you’re addicted.

However, you must be able to admit that you have a problem before you can seek help. Fortunately, you don’t have to feel like you’re alone. An addiction recovery professional in Asheville can help you come up with the right approach. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind as you prepare to talk to your loved ones.

You May Have to Educate Them About Your Condition

Many people don’t understand addiction. They see it as a lack of willpower or a choice rather than a disease. You may have to take the time to learn a bit about the condition before you try to explain it to someone else. Remind your loved ones that you’re ill and talk to them about the treatment options you’re considering. Show them that you’re serious about getting help. Consider gathering some resources to pass on to your loved one so they can learn more in their own time.

You’ll Need to Find the Right Moment

After you’ve spent days or weeks thinking about what you want to say, you may be tempted to just blurt it out. However, you should approach your loved ones when they’re calm and things are quiet. You shouldn’t bring up the topic of addiction while you’re out participating in an activity. However, you should be prepared for your friend or relative to become angry or distressed no matter the circumstances. Try to stay calm no matter what.

You Must Be Truthful About Your Situation

Addiction can be hard to understand. Very often, there is no single reason why an individual becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol. However, if you’ve already been getting professional help, you may have started to uncover the root of your addiction. Maybe you began using drugs as a way to manage stress or you started to rely heavily on prescription opioids.

No matter how difficult it may be to talk about trauma or mental health issues, you must remember that confronting your issues is part of getting better. People tend to have similar stressors in life so your loved one may be able to identify with the underlying cause of your addiction.

Benefits of Admitting You’re an Addict

You can’t predict how anyone will respond after you tell them you have a substance abuse problem. It’s true that they may be shocked or disappointed. However, they may also be surprisingly understanding and supportive. In any case, opening up can bring several benefits.

For example, you’ll have someone you can call when you need to talk. You may also be able to benefit from your loved one’s perspective on how your addiction is affecting your life. They may provide insights that you don’t have.

If you’re addicted to alcohol, opening up also alerts your friends to the fact that they shouldn’t invite you to bars or clubs. If they don’t know you have a problem, they may encourage you to go to all the usual places, not knowing that they’re putting you in danger. True friends will support you and help you to find safer settings in which to socialize.

Addicts need a support system. Having a close friend, spouse or parent by your side throughout the process can improve your chances of recovery. Many addicts find that they benefit from having family or couple’s counseling in addition to other types of treatment.

Signs That You Need to Seek Help

You won’t be able to hide your substance abuse problems forever. As addiction progresses, it becomes even harder to hide. It’s best to open up as early as possible so you can get professional help. Symptoms of addiction include:

  • Having strong urges to use the drug
  • Need larger and larger amounts of the drug to get the desired effect
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you cease using
  • Isolating yourself from others so you can use the substance
  • Continuing to use the substance even though it is causing problems in your life

Contact Asheville Recovery Center to Get Further Guidance

Sharing such a personal situation is difficult but it can help to ease the burden on your shoulders. Telling your loved ones you’re an addict can ensure you get the support you need. Call Asheville Recovery Center today if you’re ready to seek treatment or you want to ask questions.

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