Parents have been asking this question for decades. Unfortunately, there is no simple “yes” or “no” answer. However, there are several things that will help you make a clear decision. It comes down to personal choice. You need to do what is best for your children and for your recovery. Consider the following issues to help determine what is optimal for your situation:
How old are the children?
Age plays a big role in making your decision. Young children simply cannot comprehend the concept of rehab. In this case, it is illogical to tell your children that you are going to rehab. However, you can use different terminology that they can understand. Something like, “Mommy isn’t feeling well and needs to go away for a while to get better.” Older children may not know exactly what rehab is, but have the capacity to grasp it when it is explained. If your children are teenagers, they likely know precisely what rehab is and therefore, age does not play into determining whether or not to tell them.
Are the children aware of your alcohol or drug abuse?
If the children are familiar with your issues, then it probably makes sense to tell them you are getting help. If they know you have a problem, they are likely concerned about you. Knowing that you are leaving in order to get well will ease their worries. If your children are unaware of your alcohol or drug abuse, you will have to decide if and when to tell them. Obviously, if you choose to tell them about rehab, you will first need to tell them about the drug/alcohol abuse.
Do you currently live with your children?
If your children are living with you, they will obviously notice your absence. If you see them regularly but do not live with them, they are also going to notice that you are not around. In these situations, you must tell them something. You cannot simply disappear and expect them not to ask questions. They deserve an explanation. If you do not live with your children or see them often, this will not factor into your decision.
Who will your children stay with while you are in rehab?
Understand that people talk and secrets are not easily kept. If you decide not to tell your children about rehab, can you trust the people around them not to leak your whereabouts? When your children do find out about your rehab stay, it is best to hear it directly from you. If you are concerned that other people will tell your children while you are in rehab, you may want to tell them before you go. It is also important to understand that they will find out eventually. It could be many years down the road, but sooner or later, they will know.
Marilyn Kegley works with Best Drug Rehabilitation to educate individuals about the effects, dangers and treatment of abuse problems to substances such as cocaine, heroin, alcohol, painkillers, and many others. After watching numerous loved ones struggle with substance abuse, her goal is to help as many people as possible win their battles with addiction. If you would like more information, please visit us at: http://www.bestdrugrehabilitation.com/blog/addiction/why-is-inpatient-rehab-the-most-effective-program-for-drug-addiction/#more-9224
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