How To Tell Your Friends You’re Going to Rehab

If you’ve made the decision to go away to a rehab center to take some time to learn more about yourself and how to overcome your struggles with alcohol, that’s an incredible decision.

But beyond making the initial call and setting things up, there are some logistics that come into play, and some things you can do now that can increase your chances of success, and can reduce the amount of nonsense that you have to deal with once you return.

In this article, we’ll be going over some advice for how to tell your friends that you’re doing away to rehab.

In upcoming articles, we’ll also be discussing how tell your family that you’re going to rehab, and how to sort things out with your employer, but right now, we’re talking about talking to your friends. Here are some things to consider about how to tell your friends you’re going into rehab.

You Don’t Have to Tell Everyone That You’re Going to Rehab

The first thing is to remember that you really don’t have to make this anyone else’s business. You can tell a close friend or two, or your inner most circle, but it’s really up to you if you want anyone else to know.

In some cases, it can be helpful for all of your friends to know, if they’re going to be supportive but that’s not always the case.

The Pros and Cons of Letting People Know

Depending on how big your social circle is and the type of people you hang around with, sometimes a friend-group will be super supportive. They’ll plan get-togethers without alcohol, and they’ll do a great job of being there for you.

But some groups will actually ostracize someone for seeking help, and they’ll encourage the person to drink, or just start ignoring them. This can be really hurtful for someone who is seeking treatment and to turn their life around.

We’ve all known people who act like your friend but when the chips are down, it feels more like they’re rooting for you to fail. If you don’t want to have to deal with these types of people, you can avoid telling them altogether.

Deciding When to Tell Them

Letting your friends know you’re making a big change in your life and taking steps towards sobriety

Frankly, they’ll probably know that you had a problem, if you drink around them a lot, and some of them might even be having their own drinking problems and they could seek inspiration from you.

Don’t Worry About It

First and foremost, you can’t spend time worrying about how people will respond to this. The people that you should focus on are the ones who are supportive, don’t put energy into the people who don’t feel like they’re on your side.

You decided that you need rehab, you had the courage to reach out to get the process started, and that takes a ton of character and self-awareness and you simply deserve better than people who aren’t supportive.

Deciding How to Tell Them

You could do a group chat or write a letter or an email, you could record a little video, or you could get some friends together and tell them in person.

If you have friends who have encouraged you towards seeking treatment or help for your drinking in the past, they will probably be delighted to know that you’re taking steps towards that and it’s something for you to be proud of.

Give People Space, Too

We talked about how you can make this process easier on yourself by ignoring or cutting out toxic people who are rooting for you to fail, but there could be some middle ground with some people.

Some people might not feel super supportive right away, but it could be for a variety of reasons, including if they’re dealing with their own struggles or if your alcoholism has made them think about their own troubles with drinking.

In any case, whatever the reason may be, there are some people who will come around with time, and end up being huge supporters of you, too.

You’ll have to decide who is worth giving that time and space to, and who is better off out of your life, or at least at a distance while you get the hang of recovery.

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.