How to Tell Family and Friends That You Have an Opioid Addiction
facebookinstagramDue to the overwhelming opioid epidemic that has gripped the US for more than a decade, law enforcement has seen an alarming uptick in instances of DWIs caused by opioids. In some of the more shocking cases that have made headlines, people have even...
facebookinstagramOdds are, you didn’t set out to become addicted to opioids, but it happens. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2017, there were an estimated 1.7 million people with opioid related substance abuse problems, with 47,000 deaths...
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Dealing with an addiction to opioids is a struggle within itself. But when you have to let family and friends know, it can also seem a little overwhelming. However, it’s important to let the people you care about be a part of your journey to recovery. Doing so will not only encourage them to help you along the way but also help them to understand what you’re going through. Here are a few tips you can use to share your story with your family and friends.
Choose a Time That Works for You
There are no hard rules on the perfect time or way to disclose your addiction to a close friend or family member. That’s because when and how you choose to tell them is your own choice. However, it’s crucial not to rush the process or place your recovery at risk. Instead, pick a time that works for you that won’t jeopardize your progress on the road to recovery. That means informing those who may not be helping your situation earlier rather than later in your process. Also, don’t completely avoid giving yourself a deadline. Being able to hold yourself accountable for taking action at a defined time can help you ensure you actually tell your friends and family about your opioid addiction.
Talk to Them One-on-One
Approaching friends and family on an individual basis may offer you a more comfortable way of explaining your addiction as opposed to delivering this same message in a group setting. Rather than having to deal with several reactions to your news at once, you’ll only have to handle the reaction from one person. You’ll reduce the chances of experiencing stress and being overwhelmed while offering that person time to reflect on the information you gave.
Let Them Know Why
Helping your family members and friends know why you turned to opioids in the first place can help them understand the nature of the addiction. This also gives them an opportunity to help you in the future by removing those influences that may spark a relapse.
Be Honest and Provide Details
Value integrity and be transparent about your situation. While you may not always receive the reaction you expect, it’s still important to be truthful about your addiction so everyone is on the same page. A family member or friend who truly cares about you will allow you to express yourself without judgment and will want to help you. Give them the necessary information that’s required to help them gain a better understanding of your situation so that they can help you in your recovery process.
Invite Them to Be Part of the Process
While not everyone is ready to handle the news that their loved one has been dealing with an opioid addiction, there are some friends and family members who are more than willing to assist you at a moment’s notice. Don’t be afraid to invite them along with you on your journey. Recovering from an opioid addiction doesn’t have to be a solo mission. Consider inviting friends and family members to your therapy or counseling sessions. You can even invite them to join you for a workout, which can be helpful for recovering from an addiction. You’ll not only get the support you need but you’ll build stronger bonds with your family and friends. This will help them gain insight into your situation so they know what to do should you relapse or need assistance with avoiding certain situations.
How and when you tell your family or friends about your opioid addiction ultimately is a decision that only you can make. Consider sharing your addiction story with your close friends and family so you can have the support you need as you work your way to recovery. Even if friends or family members aren’t available, you are not alone. Consider reaching out to someone you trust, such as a doctor or a counselor.