Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Who Can I Talk to if I Don’t Trust My Family?

Who Can I Talk to if I Don’t Trust My Family?

Plenty of resources will discuss your addiction with you if you do not trust your family

Discussing your addiction with a trusted family member, friend or counselor is a key step to developing recovery. The listener will probably offer support and help in initial conversations, but she will probably be a valuable source of reliance throughout the healing period. The closest people in addicts’ lives may be the members of their own families, particularly the ones who live in the same home. In that regard, close family members often play large roles in addicts’ recoveries, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse calls the involvement of the family “significant” by saying that it brings extended benefits1. In short, your family members can help you quit drugs and stay sober for the long haul.

However, many drug addicts lose trust with others, including their close family members. Unfortunately, when an addict wants to get better, but does not want to discuss addiction with a relative, then she may lose that initial drive to quit and take up addictive substances yet again. For this reason, learn about the resources you can seek if you a lack of trust keeps you from talking to your family about addiction. Also, know the steps to rebuild trust in your family to receive further support and encouragement.

Addiction Counselors Are Willing to Help

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work in a variety of settings with people who suffer from different compulsions. Some settings include individual counseling, group counseling, 12-step programs, interventions as mandated by a judge and etc. Furthermore, some counselors specialize in a specific population; for example, people with a physical or mental disability or veterans2. Furthermore, group counseling can help patients who have co-occurring disorders, substance abuse and a mental disorder at the same time3. However, support groups can help people who struggle with the same issue, because it connects them who struggle with empathetic support. For instance, during group counseling, you might meet someone who used the same drug as you and has been sober for a while now. This friendship can encourage you to quit using drugs. Also, feeling supported and challenged at the same time by peers in addiction recovery can incite you to keep up with the treatment program.

Other Resources for Discussing Addiction

The internet is a great source of information and even counseling for addiction. Several professional webpages and forums help people who need to talk about their addictions but are unprepared to do so in person. Some of these forums offer chat rooms with healthcare professional who can give advice and locate treatment centers and counselors near you.

Also, your primary care provider (family doctor) is a good option for discussing addiction. You can ask him about how addiction affects the brain and what recovery options will help you. He will be more than happy to direct you to a colleague if he lacks experience on the topic, and some efforts are already in motion to integrate primary care services with addiction treatment4.

Work to Rebuild Trust in Your Family

One of the goals of addiction treatment is to repair the damage done by substance abuse. More often than not, the lack of trust in your family can be directly related to your drug use, but, regardless of the cause, it is important to work on mending broken relationships with your loved ones. In that regard, be sure to discuss your ideas with your counselor or fellow addicts in recovery to learn how you can start this process. You will find that trust comes with work and perhaps weeks or even months of it.

You can develop some trust in your family if you heed the following ideas:

  • Share your feelings one at a time
  • Keep the lines of communication open
  • Work together on household tasks
  • Offer your help whenever needed
  • Ask for advice on things unrelated to your addiction
  • Value their comments and show gratitude for what you receive

Once you start talking about your addiction, keep the following thoughts in mind:

  • Be honest about your problem and say why you want to recovery
  • Do not blame your drug abuse on anyone but yourself, even if you think someone else is partly responsible
  • Express appreciation for being part of the family
  • Do not hesitate to say how they can help you
  • Show empathy and do not expect support right away
  • Remain calm if someone responds badly; it is often due to the impact he feels
  • Show appreciation for being heard and say you are open to their advice

Though it may take time, it is often better to go through addiction recovery with your loved ones than without them. There will be plenty of time to make up for past wounds you caused while abusing drugs, but you must first overcome addiction.

Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now for extra discussion on addiction. Even if you distrust your own family members, our admissions coordinators will gladly answer your questions about addiction and direct you to the best treatment programs for your needs. With help, you can get and stay clean, so seek support now to initiate recovery.


1 http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment/frequently-asked-questions/how-can-families-friends-make-difference-in-life-  “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)” (National Institute on Drug Abuse, Updated December 2012). Retrieved 01/02/2016.

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-and-behavioral-disorder-counselors.htm#tab-2  “Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2015). Retrieved 01/02/2016.

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/counseling-and-addiction-how-therapy-can-help  “Counseling and Addiction” (WebMD). Retrieved 01/02/2016.

http://www.integration.samhsa.gov/about-us/esolutions-newsletter/integrating-substance-abuse-and-primary-care-services  “Integrating Addiction and Primary Care Services” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Retrieved 01/02/2016.

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