Addiction is not something you can just bring up once and then avoid forever thereafter. Be intentional and tell your loved one about your victories and struggles.

For many people, the thought of approaching a family member about addiction recovery is overwhelming. Your approach will likely change if you are currently addicted or are in recovery, but you can take any of the following steps to cultivate healthy communication habits with your family:

Be Completely Honest

Tell your family where you are, which may scare you greatly, but this step is crucial for the road to recovery. If possible, tell your family how long you have been addicted and also how much you are using. While everything inside you may oppose this step, this level of honesty will strengthen your relationship with your family.

Do Not Let Fear Stop You

Fear loves to lie to you with words like these: “your family will not love you if you tell them about your addiction,” and “it’s not an addiction—just a habit that is not hurting anyone.” Do not accept these internal voices as truth. You know you need help, so go talk to your family about finding it.

Do Not Pretend That You Are Perfect

Be intentional to pull off any masks that disguise your addiction, especially those that promote your perfection. In other words, you can avoid discussing your addiction, but that act does not make it go away. Have the courage to bring it up when you are with your family. Yes, this action is quite tough, but honesty and openness help you and your family in the recovery process.

Once In Recovery

Continue being honest and do not let fear hold you back. At this point, you will know what actions, attitudes, objects and situations precipitate your addiction. You will now have some perspective on the situation and can communicate with some clarity. For example, you may realize that stress and depression contribute to addictive behavior so you can promote your addiction recovery if you avoid these problems.

Lastly, continue talking with your family. Addiction is not something you can just bring up once and then avoid forever thereafter. Be intentional and tell your loved one about your victories and struggles.

If you are uncertain what to tell your family about your addiction, then then please call our helpline to talk to one of our admissions coordinators. Our staff will listen carefully to your situation and guide you to the help you need.