Tips for Owning Up to Your Family About Addiction Problems

When you’re struggling with addiction, one of the most difficult things to do is to come clean with your family about your struggles, but it is also an essential step in the process of recovery. There are a myriad of reasons people struggle to own up to their substance abuse problems, such as the existing stigma around addiction, personal guilt or shame, or fear of disappointing your family. These fears are understandable, but coming clean is important and will put your family and friends in a better position to support you and your recovery. If you’ve been trying to hide your addiction and pretend that everything is fine for a while, the prospect of talking frankly about your struggles is a daunting one. Here are three tips to keep in mind as you open up to your friends and family about your substance abuse. 


Be Honest

Honesty and trust are the bedrock that all healthy relationships are built on. As you’ve struggled with addiction, you may have tried to hide it, or even outright lie to your loved ones if they’ve confronted you about your substance abuse in the past. Now is the time to come clean and hold nothing back. Be upfront and direct, and emphasize your desire to do right by your family and friends, as well as your commitment to change and recovery. Most people will appreciate his honesty, and want to help you begin to recover from addiction, and support your sobriety moving forward. 


Ask For Help

Going hand-in-hand with being forthright and honest with your loved ones, it is important to be vulnerable and open yourself up to help. Many of us struggle with pride and might see asking for help as a sign of weakness. “Why can’t I just grit your teeth, and pull myself up by my bootstraps?”  You may ask yourself. Or perhaps you struggle instead with shame, feeling that you don’t deserve help or compassion. Both of these beliefs are wrongheaded, however. A strong support network is one of the most important pieces of recovery. The people who love you want to see you get better, and having them in your corner is a source of strength. 


Be Understanding 

One of the things that makes addiction such a difficult disease to deal with, is it doesn’t only affect the person suffering from it. It is important to be cognizant of how your substance abuse impacts your loved ones, and how you may have hurt them in the past, even if unintentionally. The shame many who struggle with addiction deal with can cause them to hide it from their friends and family, leading them to lie. Cravings can be strong enough to override their self-restraint and usual morals, causing them to steal money in order to fuel their addiction. Be understanding with family and friends who may be upset with you, or skeptical about your desire to get clean. Make sure they know that you understand that you’ve hurt them, but also make sure they know that you want to make things right and do good by them in the future. 


Recovery is an arduous process, and even the strongest of us need help and support. Sunshine Behavioral Health is here to help you and your loved ones recover from addiction and be the best you can be. Click here, and get started on the path to recovery today. 



Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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