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Tips for Talking About Addiction

In years past, addiction was a taboo subject. One that was spoken about in hushed tones. Something that people didn’t want to admit existed in their family. Slowly things are changing and people are becoming more accepting of the disease that is addiction. They’re beginning to realize that it isn’t a matter of willpower or choice, and that it has widespread effects. Millions of people struggle with substance use disorders which means that so many more know someone or live with someone who is affected. Yet only a fraction of those in active addiction seek the treatment they need at a rehab center in Orange County or countless other places throughout the country to support recovery.

Starting the Conversation

Talking about addiction is one way to raise awareness and encourage others to get help. It brings it out into the open and helps people to realize that treatment is available and all hope is not lost; recovery is possible and relapse is not a guarantee or a failure. So how can you become more involved in talking about addiction?

Keep attending support group meetings. This will help you to become more comfortable with discussing your own struggles with addiction. You can start by sharing with others who know where you’re coming from and what you’re going through. Talking about your addiction in this safe environment can make the transition to talking to others easier. You can also gather advice from others and hear their stories about sharing their experience with addiction. Use these tools and resources to your benefit.

Take advantage of teachable moments. You don’t have to bring up the topic of addiction out of the blue. Use events you hear, see, and read about to spark conversation, especially with your children. If you hear something on the news, ask what they think or know. If you see an advertisement for alcohol, discuss the dangers and ways they can say no if offered a drink. Addiction shouldn’t be a once-and-done conversation; it is one that should occur in small doses over time with continual positive reinforcement and encouragement. Creating these open lines of communication where your children feel comfortable talking to you about addiction can be valuable as they get older.

Offer to share your story. Volunteer to be part of an organization that speaks to schools or at youth events about addiction. You may also want to talk to young adults or even older adults, as they are all still at risk. Share your experience with addiction and recovery so that others can learn from what you’ve gone through. You never know when you’ll be the motivation they need to seek treatment for themselves or encourage someone they love to get help. Even just talking about it opens doors for other conversations to happen, whether they are with you, a family member, a counselor, or another professional. When you start the discussion, others may feel more comfortable continuing it.

Start a blog. If you’re not comfortable speaking out in the open about your addiction recovery, or aren’t sure how to best reach others, consider starting a blog. That way anyone can access the information. People from around the world can learn from what you have to say. You can share as much or as little as you want, whenever you want. It can also be therapeutic for you to put your thoughts and experiences down in writing. Reading others’ blogs may be helpful as well and support you in your own recovery efforts.

Getting Comfortable with Sharing

You don’t have to share your story if you’re not comfortable or ready. Many people in early recovery are focused on their own progress and preventing relapse that they keep to themselves. They’re not ready to open up to many people. You may start out just listening at support group meetings until you feel comfortable speaking up. You may only open up to certain people who are close to you about your experiences and keep things more generic or vague with others.

Remember – you don’t have to justify your reasons for not drinking or not doing something. It’s your choice. Others should respect your decisions. But if you do decide that you’re ready to branch out and raise awareness through sharing your own story, do so with confidence. Even if it’s just to one person, you never know how it will make a positive impact on their life.

If you’re ready to start your journey to recovery, or to help someone else start theirs, contact Chapters Capistrano at 888-973-0230. With customized treatment plans tailored to your individual needs, our luxury rehab center can be just the right place for you to overcome addiction. Start a new chapter in your life today at Chapters Capistrano.