How To Tell Your Family You’re Going to Rehab

You’ve made a big decision to register for rehab, and it’s just about time, and you’re working on sorting out some of your affairs before you go. If you can relate to this, you may find this article helpful.

Previously, we’ve discussed how to tell your friends you’re going to rehab, and telling your family can be similar. Depending on the dynamics of your friend group and of your family, it could be quite similar or quite a bit different. In any case, this article is specifically about how to tell your family that you’re going to rehab.

Choose a Good Moment

Choosing the time and place (the moment) to tell them is really important. There’s a time and place for everything, and choosing a good environment can be helpful. It could be somewhere they’re comfortable, and it’s probably ideal to avoid a restaurant or somewhere else where strangers could overhear or impact the dynamic.

Be Upfront About Your Goals in Rehab

You’re doing more than just “going to rehab”. you’re taking steps towards a new life and a new lifestyle that you’re hoping to maintain for the rest of your life.

This is a significant thing.

It’s so much more than just a trip to rehab.

It can be helpful to talk to your family about your long term goals, what to expect when you get home from rehab, and what they can do to help you.

Talking To Younger Family Members

If you have children, nieces, nephews, or other younger people in your family, you may want to be mindful of what you share with them. They could have preexisting perceptions about rehab, or they might share this information with their classmates in a way that could be uncomfortable for them, but this is really up to you to decide. You could just tell them you’re going away for work (which is true, you’re working on yourself), or you could choose to be more in-depth about it.

Be mindful of how this will affect them, but remember that you being off alcohol is going to be a great thing for them, too.

Let Them Know What You Need From Them

To continue from the last section, letting your family know what you need from them is crucial. If they’ve never been to rehab, and you’ve never been to rehab, nobody really knows what to expect at this point, but you probably have some idea which actions from your family have helped you with not drinking in the past, or if there are things that trigger you to drink.

You’ll have opportunities to think about this type of thing in rehab too, and it’s really important to set boundaries and expectations for your family once you’re back home.

Give Them Time to Process It

Sometimes, telling a family that you’re going to rehab can make them react in a way where they’re almost offended, or kind of weird about it, like they feel as if it’s not necessary or something. You know better than them what you’re going through, but it can still be helpful to give them some room to process this and to realize that you’re doing the best thing for yourself, that you can do, in this moment in time in your life.

Finding a Rehab To Visit

If your family has encouraged you to seek treatment, or if it’s a conclusion you reached on your own, you can call the number at the bottom of this article or at the top of this page to get help with understanding your options, how rehab works, how to cover the costs (there may be financial assistance available to you), and more. A rehab specialist is standing by to help, and the call is free.

Martijn van Eijk
Martijn is a passionate creator and the driving force behind He created this website to assist individuals and their families in conquering alcohol addiction and finding a joyful, fulfilling life after alcohol. With a deep understanding of the challenges they face, he empowers readers with valuable insights and practical guidance on their journey towards recovery. Author of the Stop Shaking Book.