Once you’ve come to the important decision to seek help for a substance use disorder, you may be struggling to find a way to break the news to family and friends about entering treatment. Whether or not your loved ones are aware of your addiction the conversation may be an emotional one, but can bring you hope.
Most likely, those closest to you know that you’re struggling with substance misuse. They may not be aware of the extent of your issues or understand why addiction is considered a disease. Though you might be lacking the energy to get into these conversations with your loved ones, you can provide them with resources and reading material to help them gain some insight. Don’t hesitate to distance yourself from family members who may be negative influences or aren’t confident in your decision. When entering treatment, having a strong support system is vital for your success. Keeping those family members who are most supportive of your efforts closest to you will help you get through the ups and downs of the road to recovery.
You may have two different types of friends if you are involved with illicit substances. There is the old friend group from before your substance misuse and the handful of friends you’ve made through drug use. While your oldest friends will be relieved to hear that you’re setting out on your journey to recovery, you may not receive the same reception from the other crowd. It’s not uncommon for those who use substances together to develop a codependent type of relationship where there’s an enabler and the person who depends on them. If you feel that your friends or acquaintances may think that you’re “abandoning” them to get help, it’s often best to avoid a confrontation. Sometimes, a letter or text message may suffice to get the information across without putting yourself at risk of conflict. You can also choose not to communicate with those you used drugs with at all.
Employer and Colleagues:
If you’ve been maintaining a double life of functioning at work while continually misusing substances, it may come as a surprise to your boss and coworkers if you disclose your plan to take a leave of absence to get help. Your first worry might be the possibility of losing your job, but thankfully there are laws in place to help protect those who fall under the right criteria. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) does cover those with substance use disorder, and can prevent employers from firing you for poor performance in the past once you have enrolled in a treatment program. This may require a “substance abuse assessment” to ensure that you are actively not using while also in treatment in order for the ADA act to apply to your situation. Speak to a case manager at your treatment facility for more information.
Getting help for your addiction is a big step, and it’s essential to communicate your plans for treatment with those who have the most contact with you. Not only will these people become part of a support system you will begin to rely on, but it can also help you land on your feet once you are ready to reenter the world with a recovering mind and body.
Need More Help?
If you think you have an opioid addiction, our treatment centers can help. MedMark Treatment Centers supports patients across the United States in their recovery from opioid addiction. Contact a MedMark clinic near you now.