Addiction to alcohol or drugs can be devastating to all involved. In many instances, those with the addiction are unaware of how serious their problem is and they may not even consider the fact that they could have an addiction. It might not be until they are given a health warning from a doctor or they are given an ultimatum by family members or their boss that they realise there is actually an issue. When this happens, many addicts will be forced to face up to their problems and get help.
Who Should You Tell?
If you have been confronted with an ultimatum regarding your addiction, you may be ready to accept addiction advice but be worried about telling people. You might be concerned about letting close family and friends or your colleagues know about the fact that you have an addiction because of how they will react.
The truth is that many of them will already have had their suspicions and may be delighted that you are now about to get the help you desperately need. No matter how shocked you were at the realisation that you had an addiction, many of those closest to you will be unsurprised at the news.
If you are married and have kids, you will obviously have to tell your spouse and the children as you will be leaving home for a while. If your kids are particularly young, you may not want to tell them exactly where you are going as they will probably not understand. However, if your children are older, you should be honest with them about the fact that you are ill and that you are going away to get help.
Telling Your Wider Family and Friends
Although you may not want to tell your wider family and friends about the fact that you are going to rehab, it might be a good idea. Your spouse may need support while you are away and if you can rely on other family members or friends, it could make the process easier. Also, once you come out, you will find it easier if others are aware you are no longer drinking or taking drugs. Those who know you have been through a programme of rehabilitation will not be pressurising you to have a drink at parties and will be more likely to offer support during your recovery. You may find it easier if other people know as it will mean you do not have to be constantly worrying about them finding out, or making excuses as to why you are not drinking anymore.
Telling Your Employer
It is very likely that your employer knows that something was not right with you. It is very hard to hide an addiction at work. You may have been displaying withdrawal symptoms such as shaking in work or your colleagues may have noticed a smell of alcohol on your breath.
Nevertheless, you could be worried that telling your boss will adversely affect your position within your workplace or the company. The reality is that not all employers will be understanding, especially if your boss does not see addiction as an illness. There is still a certain stigma attached to addiction, and your employer may have his or her own view of what an addict is.
If your company does not have a documented policy on addiction and treatment, you may want to find out about your employer’s views by getting a doctor to call up and ask questions on behalf of an anonymous employee.
It is important that you get the help you need as soon as possible. Whether or not you tell people about the fact that you are going for treatment is your choice. You might want to keep your addiction and recovery a secret initially but, going forward, you will find that it helps to share your problems with others.