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How Do I Tell My Family I’m Going to Rehab?

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Choosing to seek help and go to a treatment center can be humbling. Sharing with others that you are going to rehab can feel even more daunting. If you are a working professional, feeling uncertain about how your family will respond is normal. However, sharing and communicating with your loved ones is a great way to improve your relationship and feel supported throughout treatment and recovery. While it may take time, you can help your family understand the importance of treatment and how it can help you function better at work and at home. This is because addiction is a disease that impacts every part of your life.

Importance of Telling Your Family You’re Going to Rehab

Deciding to go to treatment for addiction is a hard decision in itself. Telling your family you are going to go to rehab is a tough conversation you may want to avoid. However, it is an important conversation to have. Healing from addiction means staying in treatment, and to do so you need your family to know what steps you are taking. This improves your ability to heal from addiction while building the foundation of healthy and honest relationships with your loved ones.


Having support while you are in treatment and recovery from addiction is vital to your success. According to Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, a family’s support or lack of support during and after going to rehab can make a big difference. If your family understands the need for treatment and supports your need for change, this will improve your ability to remain sober. Alternatively, if your family does not provide the necessary support or encourages you to relapse, they can be a negative influence on your recovery.

For your family to be able to support you during and after treatment, they need to understand. This might mean explaining behaviors you have been hiding from them, like using drugs or alcohol while alone. Additionally, you may need to explain the forces behind addiction. This can help them to understand that rehab is the best place for you to heal both mentally and physically.

Building a Healthy Foundation

When you struggled with addiction, your relationships with your family often become less of a priority. This is due to the changes that occur in the brain that rewire the brain to push you more toward substances. However, it is beneficial to have a healthy and strong bond with your family.

The foundation of a strong and healthy relationship is honesty. When you admit to yourself and your family that you need help and are going to rehab, you are building a foundation of honesty in the relationships. While other parts of your relationship may already be honest, this action helps to solidify and improve your connection with your loved ones.

How to Talk to Your Family About Going to Rehab

When you explain to your family that you are going to rehab, you are opening up and showing your vulnerabilities. This will likely be very hard. However, it will also be challenging for your family to hear. Talking to your family about rehab is a serious conversation that requires forethought and good communication skills. A few pointers will help you succeed.

Be Prepared

Being prepared when entering the conversation with your family is important. When you feel prepared, you will have the strength to keep moving forward and communicate what you need to with your family regardless of their reactions. Just like being prepared for a presentation at work, when you are prepared, you will feel calmer and more competent. While you cannot be prepared for everything, having some structure and bullet points ready can be very helpful.

Preparation for an important conversation looks different for each person. However, it will likely include planning out what you want to say and in what order. This might look like explaining that you have been struggling with addiction and feel it is time to get help. Additionally, you can share what rehab will look like such as how long you will be there if you are doing a residential program. Then you can explain what will be involved when you return.


Effective communication is a two-way street. While being prepared and knowing what you need and want to say is important, listening is equally as valuable. Listening will help you to understand how your family is feeling and what their concerns are. Remember that while you are sharing something important, the goal of the conversation is for them to understand your need for rehab and what it will look like.

Improving Communication and Relationships in Rehab

Families are often complicated. While ideally the conversation with your family about rehab will be positive, it might not be. If it is negative, that is okay. Remember in rehab you can improve your communication skills and relationships. While deciding to get treatment and sharing it will your family is the first step to recovery, the road to recovery takes time and often includes healing relationships with your loved ones.

For many working professionals, the idea of expressing that they need help can create feelings of shame and fear. However, communicating with family is important. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we understand that admitting the need for treatment is a big step. Communicating with your family can feel even bigger. In our program, we support working professionals in their journey toward recovery. This includes learning and improving communication skills that help your professional career and your family relationships. Family relationships are important, but they take time to heal and grow. If you or someone you love is a working professional struggling with addiction, we can help. Call us today at (714) 492-1119 to learn more. 


  • I would just like to share how Grateful I am with my experience through my addiction at this facility. I couldn’t possibly ask to be in such a “SAFE/COMFORTABLE” environment while receiving treatment for my addiction. I would just like to say Thank you sooo much to ALL the staff there from the Nurse’s to counselors and therapist all of you are a True Blessing in helping me through my journey of sobriety. I couldn’t feel more comfortable there on how they monitored my physical health and on dealing with my emotional health with there therapy sessions and groups I truly see them ALL as Family!

    Andrew N.
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  • This place helped saved my life, and a great stepping stone to get my life on the right track. Was there first client under new management, caring staff and owners, comfortable place to get you on your feet in sobriety.

  • Great Staff. Comfortable Environment. Awesome place to Get Clean and Sober. Thank you guys for everything.


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