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Explaining That You Went To Rehab For Addiction

How to Tell Someone You Went to Rehab for Addiction

It’s not always easy to be honest and transparent about your addiction. Revealing that you have struggled with drugs, even if you have already gone to rehab for addiction and overcome your problem, can be a difficult thing to admit.  Drugs have a very serious negative stigma attached to them, especially if the drugs in question are the subject of abuse. For this reason, it’s often difficult for people to be upfront to their families, their employers, and even their friends, about their addiction and the steps they’ve taken towards recovery.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can be honest about your addiction and tell your loved ones what you’ve gone through. That’s what we’re here to help you with today.

Figuring Out Who to Tell

Naturally, some people will be more judgmental than others in the way that they view people who have struggled with an addiction. New medical advances in the field of addiction treatment have made the public much more aware of the reality of the problem and have opened a lot of people’s eyes to the world of addiction, but old stigmas die hard.

It’s important that you judge your options very well. You’re probably not going to want to just blurt out to everyone that you see that you just got out of rehab for addiction, unless you don’t really care what anyone thinks about you. If that’s the case, then go for it, but remember, this can hinder employment or other social opportunities.

  • Family can be among the easiest or the most difficult people to tell about your addiction, depending on your relationship with them and the way that they view your addiction.
      • Some people are able to talk openly about their addiction with their family. In many cases, a person’s family will help guide them through treatment and will help them overcome their addiction. In these cases, you’ll have no reason to worry about whether or not you can tell them about your experience.
      • Others are not able to talk openly with their families about their addiction. These people often try to hide their addiction for as long as they can, and they may not even be comfortable opening up when they’re admitting themselves into rehab for addiction treatment.
  • Employers should be told about rehab only when using serious caution. While it’s not legal for an employer to terminate or punish an employee for seeking treatment, they may be the type of person to change their opinion of you if they find out you had a substance abuse problem. Conversely, some employers may be willing to accommodate your treatment plan and give you time off so you can sober up.
  • Friends should be willing to support you through your rehabilitation process, though it’s not uncommon for people to hide their addiction even from their closest friends. This can be for a number of reasons – not wanting them to worry, fear of judgement, or other social concerns.

How to Tell Them

The first thing that you’re going to have to do is push your way through your fears and overcome your worries. You’re probably going to be stressed out about how you can tell people about your experience in rehab long before you actually have a chance to talk them. The most common fears in this situation are fears about being judged.

It’s important to remember that people don’t often judge others as harshly as they judge themselves. It’s also important to remember that telling someone that you’ve successfully completed rehab is entirely different than telling someone that you have a drug addiction.

If your coworkers or friends were suspicious about the way you were acting, or if they knew that you had a problem with addiction, then telling them that you went to rehab will ease their minds. You shouldn’t worry about admitting to having a problem – chances are, they suspected already, and if they didn’t, then they’ll be impressed and surprised about how you’ve taken initiative to make changes.

If you’re certain that coworkers will judge you or treat you differently, go talk to a human resources representative or someone else in the company that you are certain that you can trust. You can confide in them at first, and then open up to others as you feel necessary.

Keeping Your Guard Up

If you just came back from rehab, or you’ve been attending 12-step meetings or other intense programs, chances are you’re experiencing some difficult emotions like stress. If someone asks you where you’ve been while you were absent, it’s going to feel natural to want to spill the beans about going to treatment.

It’s important that you don’t reveal this information to everyone unless you’re certain that there won’t be any repercussions, or if you’re certain that facing these repercussions is necessary for you to progress in your social or work life.

You can deflect any questions that people may have back to the conversation or environment. If you’re at work and coworkers are bugging you, direct the conversation back to what was happening while you were gone. This works in social situations, as well. This way you don’t have to fabricate any stories and you can avoid telling the truth until you’re more comfortable.

You can use selective terminology to avoid revealing too much about your treatment. Instead of saying you were at rehab for addiction, you can say you were getting treatment for a mental health issue or an anxiety problem.

Asking Others

If you have a friend or family member who has already overcome addiction, then you can talk to them about how they managed to reveal their treatment to their friends, families, and employers.

Remember that you’re not obligated to tell anyone anything. In some cases, it can be reasonable to come up with an excuse about where you’ve been if you’re certain that revealing your addiction is a bad idea.

In Conclusion

Addiction is no easy situation, and revealing to others that you’ve struggled with addiction isn’t easy, either. Fortunately, there are ways that you can go about doing this while remaining an honest, tactful individual. Make sure that you keep your guard up, and don’t reveal anything to anyone that you don’t feel needs to know.

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