For some, the most difficult things about entering drug addiction detox is breaking the news to family members. Before you check in, there are a few things that you can do to help others understand your decision, and to make the entire process easier on yourself, while ensuring you get all the support you need.
If your struggle with addiction has been a long one, It’s often a good idea to make arrangements prior to telling your family – this shows that you are committed to getting help and getting sober. If, on the other hand, your loved ones have been kept in the dark regarding your addiction, your big news may be met with silence, tears, shock or even anger. Write down a few notes on what you want to say, and ask the people present not ask questions until you are finished speaking. Be honest and stay calm. Don’t procrastinate or make excuses – this is a conversation that needs to happen, and once it’s over you’ll be glad it did.
Explain the nature of your addiction. Alcohol and drug addiction is a disease, and for many – especially children – emphasizing the fact that you’ll be undergoing medical treatment, not having a “vacation”, will make your absence more understandable.
Educate family members on what will happen to you while you’re in rehab. Removing the unknowns will help family members feel more comfortable with the entire process. Begin by getting as much information as you can from your drug addiction rehab treatment about the day to day happenings in your treatment center, Visitation schedules and the rules of the program. Knowing that you’re safe in capable hands will help them relax and support you during this difficult time. Before you leave for rehab, sit down with family members and talk to them about the treatment center. Show them pictures, and share brochures.
Let your loved ones know how often they can expect to hear from you. There are often restrictions placed on when and even if people undergoing treatment can contact their family members. Let everyone know that you won’t be able to talk or have visits with them very often, especially in the beginning of your treatment. If you have small children, find out when the first family visiting day is and mark this date together on a calendar before you leave. Make sure that any adults who will be caring for your children while you are in treatment knows this information as well, so that they can remind them when they get confused or are missing you. Informing everyone in advance will prevent unnecessary worry or hurt feelings. If possible, invite your family members to visit you during your stay in California rehab. Many drug and alcohol rehab centers offer family therapy sessions during treatment.
Let everyone know how things will be different when you return home from treatment. Sharing your goals for the future will enable your family members to do everything they can to support you and ensure your continued sobriety.