When to Tell Someone You’re a Recovering Addict

For many recovering addicts, deciding when to talk about their issues with drugs or alcohol is one of the most confusing and difficult parts of the recovery process. People in recovery learn that honesty and being upfront about their problems is a key part of living a clean and sober life, but admitting to having past problems with drugs and alcohol can put a strain on personal and professional relationships, not to mention cause confusion and embarrassment, which can in turn lead to stress and the temptation to relieve it by succumbing to one’s addiction.

There are no hard and fast rules for when someone in recovery should reveal information about their health and their past, or to whom they should reveal this information. If someone isn’t comfortable revealing private information about themselves to new friends, coworkers, or acquaintances, then they should not have to, unless it is a situation where their health and wellbeing (or someone else’s) is in danger. At the same time, a recovery addict who wants to reveal their condition should not feel shamed into silence.

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Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding when to reveal information about your addiction or recovery:

  • People from all walks of life can be addicts: There is a stereotype in pop culture that addicts are mostly poor and uneducated people, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. People from all income and education levels suffer from addiction, nor is addiction a sign of low intelligence. Many recovering addicts, especially those with respectable jobs, fear that revealing their condition will damage their reputation. While there is still some social stigma around drug addiction, it is important to remember that people from all walks of life are addicts; there may even be other people in recovery working alongside you who can offer support.
  • Addiction is a medical condition: Over the past few decades, society has slowly come to a better understanding of addiction, and begun to accept that addicts are people in need of support, not condemnation. However, not all people are as accepting as others. If you encounter resistance or discrimination after revealing you are in recovery, reiterate that addiction is a medical condition, and that recovering addicts deserve respect and support like any other person with an illness.

For more information about addiction, recovery, and getting support, contact us at our Orange County drug rehab center today by calling 888-897-1455.

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