As if being addicted to heroin is not enough, there are social responsibilities and implications that come with addiction. The most important of which, in most situations, is telling your family. Chances are that some family members are already aware that something is wrong, but it may be a shock to others and will certainly be emotionally charged. You should enter into your confession prepared whether you decide to tell your story to a group or go to each person individually.
Pick a Neutral Spot
Try to find a place that is neutral to you and the person or group to which you are confessing. You do not want to feel overwhelmed or be in a place with negative memories, such as a family member’s home where conflict has arisen in the past. You also do not want to bring your family to an area associated with your drug use, unfamiliar to them or where there may be unwanted intrusions. The setting really will do a lot to make everyone feel at ease.
Limit Your Confessions to Close Family
When you decide whom to tell about your heroin addiction, keep it to your closest loved ones at first. If you are in a group, you do not want outsiders or acquaintances to make your loved ones feel like they are unable to be fully expressive. This is a very difficult time and everyone deserves a safe, loving and personal group with whom to rally. Moreover, your family may want to be able to process the information before the word gets out. The news will eventually trickle down to distant relatives and friends. Besides, you do not have to tell everyone.
Be Ready for Negativity and Insistence
If you are addicted to heroin, you already know that it is a serious state to be in. It is not unnatural for family members to get scared and express anger. It is in your best interest not to return that anger. Try to be understanding and hopefully, they will too. It takes some adjusting and the road ahead for them is going to be trying, so a little sympathy goes a long way.
You are also likely to encounter insistence. Family members will insist you get help, insist you go cold turkey, insist you answer a barrage of questions, etc. They are going to want you sober and want you to stay that way from that day forward. Explain your situation, what your plans are for treatment, etc. You could use the help.
You really ought to be sober when you confess your addiction to your family. This is not for their benefit. This is so that you fully comprehend what is happening. There is going to be a lot said and there will be a lot of emotion. This is not the time to be numb to it. Remember, it is hard for them too and they have to face it without a crutch. If they can, so can you.
Understand That They Cannot Understand
Your family members have possibly gained all of their knowledge of heroin addiction from often incorrect news stories and films. What they express to you may be laughably inaccurate, but that should not invalidate their concerns. You know more than any of them that your addiction can be fatally dangerous. You know what it is doing to you mentally, physically and emotionally. They can only guess and they will likely guess wrong. All they will know for a fact is what you tell them, so be prepared to be open and do not be afraid to let them know some of the truths about heroin addiction.
Let it Be Emotional
You may want to push away any emotional outbursts, crying and the like. Instead, just let people feel how they want to feel. It is not a personal slight. It may feel like they are overreacting, but it is up to them how they want to react. It is up to you whether you want to accept and validate their feelings or dismiss them.
Hopefully, telling your family about your heroin addiction is a step on your road to recovery. With their support and your willingness to accept it, you can make it all the way to lifelong sobriety. Show them that this situation does not have to be a tragedy. It can be a story of triumph and teamwork.