Should You Tell Your Friends You’re Going to a Treatment Facility?
Deciding to go to a treatment facility can be a complicated decision at best. Then, it comes time to decide who and how you should tell about this life-changing decision. It’s normal to feel stress regarding sharing this information with others, it that stress may not always be necessary.
The Decision to Go to a Treatment Facility Is Not Easy
You may have struggled with addiction, mental disorder or co-occurring illness for weeks, months, years or even decades. For whatever reason, you have decided now is the right time to go to a treatment facility. Perhaps this is your first time, but perhaps it is not. No matter the path you’ve taken, this decision represents a new door opening to a healthier life full of sober, fun living. You’ve decided to open that door, and now it is your decision to share it with others. The decision to go to a treatment facility is never easy — it can require sacrifice, but it is not without reward. A sacrifice now can lead to a lifetime of health and happiness following treatment.
Why You Chose a Treatment Facility
Most commonly, people choose to attend treatment due to substance abuse. Addiction is a serious illness, and it is well-known that professional intervention is most beneficial. Additionally, treating addiction can result in severe withdrawal symptoms, so having medical staff on-hand during detoxification and withdrawal is the safest, most effective way to achieve healthy recovery. If you’ve chosen to enter a treatment facility to help battle addiction, there is no reason to feel shame or embarrassment. Once you are afflicted with the disease of addiction, the best choice you can make is to seek professional help.
Who Should You Tell?
Now that you’ve decided to seek professional treatment as a client, it may require you to be away from friends and family for some time. While some visits may be encouraged, it is likely you will not see most of your friends for the duration of treatment because you will be solely focused on your holistic well-being. It is recommended that you share your addiction recovery journey with the people you’d like to maintain long-term relationships with, but this can be difficult to determine prior to treatment.
For people you do wish to tell, such as your spouse, closest friends, parents or employer, consider it carefully. You do not want to hurt someone close to you by withholding information, but you also do not want someone to try and influence your decision. If your close friends or family members also struggle with addiction and do not support treatment, it may not be beneficial to tell them all of the details of your decision. In the end, you must choose to tell the people you feel will support you and benefit from the knowledge you’re sharing with them.
What to Say
Prior to treatment, it is okay to be discrete about telling your professional peers, classmates and friends so you feel clear-headed when entering treatment. You could choose to tell people you are simply going on a trip, “getting help” or even going on a “retreat.” All of these are okay explanations, and you do not need to offer any further clarification if you do not feel comfortable with it at that time.
Should you choose to share more with people, it is never too late to have a conversation about your own addiction journey. You can do it in person, following treatment or in the form of a letter or email. It is most important to do what you are comfortable with, without hurting others.
If you need help planning to talk to your friends about your decision, call us to talk to a specialist about the most effective ways to communicate your message. Remember, there is no need to feel guilty or ashamed about your decision, and the information is yours to share when you are ready.