Many high functioning addicts can carry on with their day-to-day tasks despite the fact that they are struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs. To outsiders, they may be living the perfect life; they have a spouse, nice family, good job and seem to have it all. However, their addiction may be affecting those closest to them, and it is no doubt something that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Addiction is an illness that requires treatment; for many, inpatient treatment may be the best solution. This means that the person will have to spend a number of weeks in a clinic, being monitored by professional staff and getting intensive treatment for his or her addiction. If you have an alcohol or drug addiction that requires inpatient treatment, you may be debating what to tell people.
It is highly likely that family members are already aware that you have a problem. You may think you have hidden your problem well, but the chances are that those closest to you suspect that all is not as it should be.
What you tell your children will usually depend on their age. They may not understand what addiction is if they are very young, but they will no doubt have been affected by it. You need to sit them down and explain that you have been unwell and that your illness has caused you to act in a way that you did not want to. Tell them that you need to go away to get better so that you can all enjoy being a family again.
If your children are older, they will no doubt know exactly why you have been acting the way you have. Be honest with them and explain that you need to get help for your addiction. They may be reluctant to believe you because they have been lied to before and are used to broken promises. Nevertheless, it is important that you take the time to sit down with them before you go away for treatment.
It is hard to admit to friends that you have an addiction, but addiction is something that can affect anyone. Remember that this is an illness and not a sign of weakness. Acknowledge that you are suffering from an addiction and be strong enough to tell the truth. Your real friends will be there for you no matter what. You may be surprised to hear that some of your friends are suffering from their own set of problems that they have been hiding from you. When you are open and honest, it may encourage them to talk about the issues they are dealing with as well. Be there for each other and you will come through this on the other side.
Telling Your Employer
If you are going for inpatient treatment for addiction, you will need to let your employer know and ask for time off. Whether you tell your employer the reason you need to take time off depends on you and how you think this news will be received. It is sad to say that even in this day and age, addiction is still seen as something to be ashamed of. Many employers do not understand addiction is an illness and may look at it in a negative manner. Find out your company policy on addiction. If you are worried about doing this yourself, you could ask your GP or counsellor to call on your behalf without revealing your name. He or she could ask questions about how the company views people taking time off for addiction treatment.
If your employer is not tolerant of addiction, then you could ask your GP to give you a sick note so that you can have the time off.