How to Explain Going to Drug Rehab to Your Family

Explain Going to Drug Rehab

How to Explain Going to Drug Rehab to Your Family

To succeed in recovery, you will need your loved ones’ support, so you should plan what you’re going to say and prepare for a range of reactions from them.  It won’t be easy to explain going to drug rehab, but it will be easier than living with the devastation that can occur if you continue the substance abuse.

Hiding an addiction is something many people struggle through every day. These individuals are skilled at keeping their substance abuse a secret for months or years.  But, eventually, the addiction becomes too advanced, and the truth comes out. At this point, a person must be honest with his or her family about substance abuse and take steps to enter a treatment program.

If you’ve reached this point with your addiction, the first step is to talk to family members about your decision to go to rehab.  Of course, it won’t be easy to face everyone and admit the lies and deception. And, it will be hard to admit to being an addict, especially when you’re looking into your loved one’s eyes.

Talking to Loved Ones About Going to Rehab

First of all, you should prepare.  Sit down and plan what you’re going to say.  Knowing what you want to discuss will take some of the pressure off and will keep you from getting side-tracked. Consider practicing the conversation with a close friend. He or she can give you an idea of some of the questions your family might ask and give advice on how you should respond.

Experts suggest that you schedule a family meeting.  In this way, you will avoid catching someone off-guard or approaching them when they’ve got other issues that are causing stress. Scheduling a meeting is also helpful because you want to avoid having the same conversation several times.

How to Explain Going to Drug Rehab to Young Children

Depending on the age of your children, you may need to have the conversation in different ways.  Most of the time, very young children sense something is going on, but they don’t quite understand.  However, older kids or teens may know exactly what the problem is, and they just need to know you are taking steps to resolve it.

Experts agree that the children should be told the truth and given an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings.  They also stress the importance of letting the children know that none of this was their fault and that they’ve done nothing wrong.  This is another reason why you should explain going to drug rehab to children so they can gain reassurance that you want to get better.

If you think your children are having trouble processing the fact that you are going away for awhile, there are some support groups that can help them understand what’s happening:

It’s important to remember that your addiction affects each member of your family.  Just as you need professional help to recover from substance abuse, your family needs support and guidance to help them heal, also.

Importance of Family Support Groups

Family support groups are recommended for those who have a loved one in an addiction treatment program.  One of the goals of family therapy is to prevent substance abuse from moving from one generation to another.

Other goals of family support groups include:

  • Help children understand the effects and dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Show family members effective coping skills that will bring them closer together.
  • Identify patterns of interaction can help a loved one maintain sobriety after rehab.
  • Family members learn to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Teaches family members how to set goals and find ways to achieve them.
  • In this safe environment, family members are encouraged to share their pent-up feelings of fear and guilt and learn to communicate more effectively.  In this way, each person gains a sense of empowerment to create positive change.

Only 2.5 million out of 24.6 million substance abusers get help for their problem, according to SAMHSA.  Many of those individuals who need treatment have families who are struggling to deal with the impact of their loved one’s addiction.  The reasons for not seeking help vary from person to person, but in many cases, the fear of admitting the drug abuse to family members is a factor.

If you are ready to begin taking steps toward treatment, contact us today to learn more about how to explain going to drug rehab to your family.


ncbi.nlm.nih.govSubstance Use Treatment and Family Therapy

mayoclinic.orgFamily Therapy Overview

samhsa.govSubstance Use and Mental Health Estimates

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