Those affected by addiction often go unnoticed until the problem becomes really serious and it starts to have a negative impact on their lives and the lives of those around them. By this stage, it can be difficult for the sufferer to admit that he or she has a problem. Many will be in denial while others prefer to say they do not have a problem rather than admitting it and having to get help.
Family members and friends often find it tough to convince their addicted loved one that they have a problem and that professional help should be sought. Those with addiction may be embarrassed or ashamed and might, therefore, be worried about telling others. Some will have hidden their addiction so well from others that they may be scared to open up and admit the truth.
Telling Your Family
If you are one such addicted individual, it could be the case that you have been given an ultimatum at work and have been told that you will lose your job unless you agree to get treatment. If this is the case, you may be scared to tell your family. However, the reality is that no matter how well you think you have hidden your addiction, the chances are that your family already know that something is not right.
Addiction changes the way that the brain works, affecting your personality in the process. Your family may not know that you have been abusing drugs or have been secretly gambling for example, but they will be aware that you have been behaving oddly and acting differently to normal.
They could end up being shocked and surprised, but they will likely be there to support you through your recovery journey.
Telling Your Friends
Telling your friends can be difficult, especially if your friends are the people you regularly drink or take drugs with. If this is the case, you need to be honest with them and tell them that you will not be able to socialise with them for a while. Doing this will take courage, but it must be done if you are to get better.
If you have not been drinking or taking drugs with your friends, then you should still tell them what is going on in your life. If they are good friends, they will be there to support you and may be able to help out when necessary.
Telling Your Employer
If you have been continuing to go to work throughout your addiction, you may think that your employer is unaware that you have a problem; this, however, is unlikely. Even if you have been going to work every day, it is very likely that you have been underperforming for a while.
Some people are fearful of telling their employer that they need to take time off for addiction treatment because of the stigma that is still attached to this illness. It is understandable that you may be wary of telling your employer, so it would be a good idea to first find out about your company’s policies on addiction and treatment. Large companies tend to have these policies in place but, if you work for a smaller company, it could be harder to access this information.
If you believe that you may be negatively affected by coming clean about your addiction to your employer, you should ask for time off for a health condition. Your doctor should be able to write a letter confirming that you need time off for a medical condition.
The Importance of Accessing Treatment
You should never let your concerns about telling others get in the way of accessing treatment for your addiction. By doing nothing, your addiction will simply get worse and, if this happens, everyone will find out anyway.
The most important thing right now is to get the help you need to overcome your addiction. You can deal with everything else once you are in recovery. Addiction advice is available regardless of the stage of recovery you are embracing.