Ten Tips For Telling Your Family You’re Going To Rehab

Accepting that you need help in your recovery is difficult to face. Making the decision to go to a rehab program itself can be stressful enough without the stress of having to tell your family.

You may be worried that telling your family may create increased tension. Despite the worry you may have about your family’s reaction, having support is crucial to the rehabilitation process.

Here are some tips on how to tell your family about your decision to enter a rehab program.

1. Choose A Safe And Comfortable Setting

When telling your family that you plan to enter a rehab facility, it is crucial to choose a safe and comfortable setting.

A public place isn’t ideal for most people. Being surrounded by other people doesn’t allow everyone to speak freely.

However, if your family has a more volatile dynamic, you may want to choose somewhere that’s public but provides space for your family to express themselves with some privacy, like a park.

2. Be Honest About Your Substance Abuse

It is crucial to be open and honest about your substance use. It is possible that your family didn’t even know about your use or the extent of it.

Specific details often aren’t needed, but it is crucial for your family to understand the depth of the substance use and why professional treatment is essential.

Talking about your condition will prove to your family that going to a rehab program is a decision you have taken seriously. Being open with them will also create trust.

3. Share Your Conviction To Pursue Recovery

Let your family know that you have chosen to go to a rehab facility because you want to achieve long-term recovery.

Explain to your family why you have chosen this route of recovery and why you believe it is the best choice for you.

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4. Provide Details About The Program

Provide your family with details about the rehabilitation process. This can include the rehab facility’s location, the treatment time frame, how you will stay in touch during recovery, etc.

Explain how the rehab center will be helpful by explaining the treatment you will be getting and how it will help you alter your behaviors over time.

5. Be Prepared To Answer Questions

It is best to be prepared for any reaction. Your family may be confused, upset, angry, or experience a combination of complex emotions.

It is important to let them know you understand their feelings but that you’re making the best decision for you. Offering to answer any questions they have can help them understand that decision.

It is perfectly normal for them to have questions about your situation and the rehabilitation process. Being open to answering these questions can set their minds at ease.

6. Set Realistic Expectations

Expectations guide you through the process of recovery. If you or your family members have unrealistic expectations of the process, it could hinder your recovery.

Be clear with yourself and your family that:

  • treatment isn’t easy
  • your recovery may not be perfect
  • it could take months if not years to fully recover
  • there will be limitations after your rehab program to protect your sobriety
  • your treatment may not solve other interpersonal issues
  • this round of treatment has a specific end date, but your recovery doesn’t

Help your family and yourself to set realistic expectations for the recovery process, and understand that the process will be long and challenging.

Setting realistic expectations can help your family not set the bar too high for you and be more understanding of the ups and downs you may face in the future.

7. Tell Them How Much Their Support Would Mean To You

Let your family know how crucial their support is in your recovery.

Helping them to understand how much their support means to you can encourage them to support you regardless of their feelings.

8. Express Hope For The Future

Let your family know that going into treatment gives you hope for the future.

Tell them what you would like to do with your life without the pressures and complications of your substance use disorder.

If your rehab program offers additional aftercare support, express how those programs can help you meet your goals.

9. Share Where They Can Learn More Information

Let your family know they can research the rehab center’s website for more information. If possible, collect a brochure from the rehab facility to give to your family.

You can also share information about the counselor you will be working with and the treatment modalities that will feature in your care.

The National Library Of Medicine and the American Psychological Association (APA) both provide descriptions of common therapies for addiction recovery.

10. Thank Them For Listening

Thank your family for taking the time to hear you out. Explain why it is important to you that they know what is going on in your life and about your desire to recover.

Learn About Addiction Treatment In Massachusetts

If you are looking to learn more about addiction treatment and rehab facilities in Massachusetts, we can help.

Contact our team at Bedrock Recovery Center to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one begin to recover from addiction.

  1. National Library Of Medicine: Bookshelf https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK424861/
  2. Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/samhsa_families_conversation_guide_final508.pdf
  3. Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/d7/priv/sma14-4474.pdf

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: October 12, 2023

© 2023 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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