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How Do I Tell My Family I have A Problem With Opiates?

A frequent question that I get from addicts is if they should tell their family about their problem.  If they do decide to tell them, how in the world do they explain what is going on? This question is very complex and can have great consequences to one's recovery. (Both good and bad). You know your family better than anyone and you will know deep down if it's a good idea or not.  Many addicts realize that telling their family may hurt them, but keeping it a secret can do even more damage.  Telling your family may hurt your relationship with them but at the same time, it may save your life. This comes down to weighing the options you have.

Many addicts do not want to burden their family members with their problems. They understand that everyone has their own things going on. Bringing up an issue with drugs may be one of the hardest things you will ever have to admit to them, but most families are aware that something is not right. An addict's personality and motivations start to change pretty quickly and family members have the ability to pick up on this.

Sitting them down and expressing to them that you have a problem is usually the best way to do so.  Family is supposed to support each other and help one another. You should never be scared to tell them when you have a problem especially when it could be life-threatening.

Now, I am not naive.  I have helped many people whose families either did not understand addiction and were unable to help. I even know some addicts whose families abandoned them. The way I look at it is like this. When you are actively using, you are already alone.  You are going about life on your terms and making some destructive decisions. It is better to open up to your family and take the chance that you will no longer be alone in your battle. They may surprise you.

The best way to explain to them what is going on is to gather them all in a safe, private and quiet place. Preferably a family members home. (Never do it in a restaurant or public location) Explain to them that you love them all very much and you are sorry for hurting them with your actions. Let them know that you are sick and need help badly. Let them know you are willing to do whatever it takes to get better and to return to the person you once were. You need to open up about your feelings and allow them to open up to you. Some things they say may be ugly and hurtful but addiction sometimes brings out the worst. It's important to be ready to take some verbal hits on the chin. Keep in mind, that no matter what is said, if they support you in wanting to get better, you have more people in your corner than before. Family could be the key to help save your life.


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