5 Tips For Telling Your Family You Are Going To Rehab

Recognizing and admitting that you are struggling with addiction is a complex and admirable start to your recovery journey, but it may feel intimidating to share that with the people you care about the most. However, there are steps you can take to make the conversation go as smoothly as possible.

  1. Select A Good Time And Place

You want to have ample time and a safe place to talk to your family about your decision to go to rehab. You don’t want to tell your loved one you are going to rehab when they are driving, rushing to a party, or in a public setting. Setting up a time without distractions is essential so everyone has enough time to ask questions and process this information. Avoid important and busy holidays and birthdays if possible. Pick a place where everyone is comfortable in a private setting. For example, a crowded restaurant is not the best option, and the family living room could be better. If you do not live geographically close to your family, setting up a time for a video call could be an alternate option. Make sure to ask them about appropriate times and settings to avoid any distractions.

  1. Decide On A Method Of Communication

An open and honest dialogue is often the traditional way to tell your family you are going to rehab. However, a conversation may be too challenging in some situations. Writing a letter can also be an excellent option as a letter is still a very personal way to communicate, and you will be able to be more intentional with what you say and your specific wording. This also eliminates their ability to react in real time, which may put less stress on you and give them more time to process the information.

  1. Be Honest About Financial Needs

Depending on your situation, discussing the costs associated with rehab with your family may be necessary. While health insurance may help cover some treatment program costs, you may have to step away from your job or pay out-of-pocket expenses for certain treatment expenses. If they can help support you financially, they may help by paying your expenses at home or helping with animal care or childcare.

Before telling your family about your decision to seek treatment, it is advised to select a treatment center and talk to them about finances first. The rehab you choose will be able to see what your insurance covers, if there are going to be any out-of-pocket expenses, and answer any other financial questions you have. Being able to answer your family’s questions about cost may make the news easier to them to digest.

  1. Collect Information About Your Treatment Plan

If you’ve already decided on a type of treatment program, it’s important to share the details with your family. For instance, outpatient treatment provides more flexibility for you to stay at home while in treatment, while inpatient programs will include living at the center. Additionally, the length of rehab programs differ, with most running 30-90 days. Your loved ones will need to know how long you’ll be gone and if they need to cover any responsibilities, like child or pet care, while you’re away.

If you’re unsure about the specifics of a certain treatment program, you can always call the center and explain your situation. While not a formal intake evaluation, they may be able to advise on what level of care you require so you can make an informed decision to share with your family.

  1. Don’t Make Predictions

It’s so easy to get in your head and predict how your family will react to your decision to go to rehab. “Will they be supportive?” “Will they be angry?” Asking yourself these questions and working through all the “what if” scenarios in your head can be unhealthy and unproductive. The reality is that you will not know how they react until you tell them the news.

How To Talk To Your Family About Rehab

Having an open and honest conversation with your family about rehab can help clear up any misconceptions they may have about substance use disorders and treatment options.

No matter how strong your family unit is, addiction causes stress in your own life and within your family. This is why addiction is often referred to as a family disease. You might expect your family to be relieved to hear your decision and ready to support you in any way they can. Or perhaps you fear they may react negatively. No matter what you anticipate, you must be honest and do what’s best for your recovery.

Telling your family about your decision is not only for their benefit but also for your own. Admitting to your family that you are struggling with an addiction and are going to rehab can be therapeutic in itself as you release a heavy issue off your chest by sharing your truth. You may find that you are more at peace after you share this important news with your family.

There are several factors to keep in mind when telling your family that you are going to rehab.

Prepare Yourself

It is important to think about what you want to say to your family; this is not a conversation you want to improvise. It may be helpful to speak with a therapist, a trusted friend, or someone who has been through rehab to seek advice on approaching this topic with your family. Think about how much you want to share with your family, whether you want your family to help you through this process, how this can be done, and what you want out of your recovery journey. It may be a good idea to rehearse this conversation with a friend or therapist and ask them to come up with sample questions your family may have during this conversation.

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Be Open And Honest

You can look at this as the opportunity to be honest about your behaviors and decisions associated with your addiction. Present the facts about your addiction, how you have been struggling, how this has affected your life, and how this has affected your loved one’s lives.

Be Patient And Empathetic

Your family may react in ways that surprise you when you share your decision to enter treatment. They may become defensive or be in denial about your struggles; they may become angry. They may be confused, and they may even be embarrassed about what you are telling them. Because their hardships correlate to yours, validating their feelings and perspectives on the situation is important. This is especially important if they are unaware of your substance use. Make it known that the lines of communication are open by welcoming any questions or concerns they may have. It is important to show grace and patience, but do not step down from your decision about going to rehab.

Improving Communication And Relationships With Family

By telling your family that you are struggling with an addiction and choosing to enter rehab, you are sharing a very vulnerable part of yourself. You are taking the steps to be open and honest with your family, which shows that you are already improving your communication with them. Allow them space and time to take in and process this information. They may have a lot of questions, or they may need days or weeks to process this. Providing them with resources about family therapy can be beneficial so they can be involved in your therapy sessions. They may also benefit from seeking support for themselves from groups such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon.

Start Your Recovery Journey Today

Your decision to attend rehab is the start of your journey toward a healthier, addiction-free future, and involving your family in the conversation can lead to shared moments of love and support.

If you’re ready to get started, explore our rehab directory, or contact a treatment provider today!