Entering a rehab program is a noble step toward recovery, yet many people feel ashamed or afraid to tell their relatives and friends about this decision. While each person might determine what works best or him or her, following some specific pointers can help to make this announcement run more smoothly.

Choose a Private Mode of Communication

Too many people have had the unpleasant experience of learning serious news about a loved one on social media. Instead of posting the news about their rehab experiences all over social media as a means to tell relatives and friends, individuals should select a private mode of communication. If they have the opportunity to speak in person, this option is often the best. People in an inpatient facility, however, may need to send a letter via mail or make a phone call.

Select a Confidante

Chances are that individuals are not going to tell everyone at the same time. They should select a person or two with whom to begin this often difficult conversation. Some individuals may select a spouse or parent; others may begin by telling a trusted friend or cousin. Talking to a close person about alcoholism or drug addiction can actually make the process of telling everyone else easier.

Select a Confidante 

Discuss Confidentiality

While many of a person’s relatives and friends may eventually learn about the rehab program, individuals should decide how confidential they want to keep the information in the beginning. For example, they may want just a small circle of people to know when the rehab program is in its early stages and then tell more individuals as they progress through the process. Others may ask trusted individuals to pass the news on to more distant relatives and friends. This decision can prove quite useful as people need the time to focus on their rehabiltation programs.

Expect Understanding

Some individuals may expect their relatives and friends to express shock at the fact that they have started a rehabilitation program. In a number of cases, however, loved ones are already aware that the person is struggling with alcoholism or a drug addiction. In fact, they may feel overjoyed that the person has sought help and may have considered attempting to intervene at multiple points in the past. Of course, all circles of relatives and friends will be different, but a number of them may very well already know what’s been going on.

Expect Misunderstanding

It’s also possible that some people will not be supportive because they are concerned about their own selfish needs. For example, some relatives or friends may ask affected individuals how they are going to continue to support their families or how they will maintain their jobs. While thinking about these issues is important, seeking treatment is a necessary part of accomplishing both of these goals. Preparing for these questions and having a plan as to how to address them can make these conversations easier.

Provide Some Details

While maintaining a sense of privacy is often important for individuals in a rehabilitation program, loved ones also generally want to know that the person is okay. Individuals who are enrolling in an inpatient program may want to provide information about the length of the stay as well as the addresses and phone numbers where they can be reached.

Ask for Support and Help

When telling loved ones about the decision to enter into treatment, they might not know what to say. They might want to say that they are there for the individual but might fear that they are overstepping the appropriate boundaries. As a result, people who are seeking treatment can ask for support. They can ask for emotional and mental support as they move through this process. Also, if they need more tangible help, they can express that need too. Some individuals may need someone to assist at their homes until they return from the program.

Apologize But Don’t Dwell

Some people who are going into rehabilitation programs hurt their loved ones because of their addiction to drugs or alcohol. Therefore, they can use these conversations as opportunities to apologize. Enrolling in a treatment program is a way to help show that the apology is real. While showing that one is sorry for past issues is important, so is moving into the future and finding a happier and healthier life. Dwelling on the problems of the past is not exactly useful, and doing so can even hinder a person who is trying to make a major life change.Speaking to loved ones about these serious issues is not always an easy task. In fact, it is often difficult for people. While the conversations might not be the simplest ones to have, they are important, and these discussions show relatives and friends proof of the changes that can happen.

We would love your feedback.

Was this article helpful?

Treatment Questions? Call 24/7.

(855) 265-2123