Need advice from parents about discussing addiction with children

Hello everyone. I’m a recovering addict currently 4 days away from my 1st year of sobriety (on 06-20-20) !!:hugs::hugs::partying_face: I had a percocet addiction that I suffered from for almost 7 years. I have 3 daughters ages 16 and 12 year old twins and an incredibly loving and supportive husband. I was arrested about a year and a half ago for purchasing a fake script and trying to get it filled. Im an incredibly private person but this whole situation has stripped me of my privacy. In my city they post all arrests in our local newspaper and on a local cable TV channel so the whole city now knows which means that my kids may find out even if I dont tell them. I would prefer that they hear it from me. This whole situation was a wake up call for me and made me be honest with myself and realize that my problem had become out of hand and realize that my addiction had gotten out of control. I attend a program in my area that has been incredibly successful and I have been blessed to remain sober. Initially my plan was to wait to discuss my addiction with my children until they were older but lately I’ve been reconsidering that thought. I want to use my experience as a lesson for my girls and talk with them about how dangerous opioid are however im not sure if thats the right choice. Also i don’t know how to go about having the conversation with them either. I would greatly appreciate any advice, thoughts or suggestions from any parents who have been thru this same situation. Thanks so much


Good job on your sobriety!
My first thought was maybe talk to your 16 year old privately first; then maybe she can help with telling the other 2. Good luck, they should be proud of their mama!:smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I think you’re doing great. And honestly I wouldn’t even say anything. It was a year and half ago, I’m sure even tho they are young they saw what you were like a year ago. I think if you keep just doing what you’re doing and showing them the best version of you now them watching they’re mother is all they will need. I’m sure they saw the struggle and how hard it was, when the day comes they will be able to reach out to you. But for now just keep guiding them and showing the sober path through your eyes


Almost a year? Cool! That’s a major milestone!

My kids knew more than I suspected at the moment I was still using. In a talk with my oldest daughter, she mentioned my exact respons and exact words I used about 14 years ago. She was only 12 at that time and she believed my use had gotten out of control and she told me that when only 12.

When I went into rehab almost 2 years ago I was totally honest to my daughters and family. And I was surprised with the understanding and support I got from them. For my oldest it was a huge relieve I went for help. She was worried sick al those years. My youngest was like ‘Oh yeah good for you, but we knew all along. Proud of you finally asked for help and got yourself into rehab’ and went on doing her stuff. Like it was something she expected to hear me say someday. :wink:

Bottomline: KIds know more than I suspected. And didnt judge me when I came clean. That’s was a relieve and I wished I had talked about my substance abuse years earlier.

Guess it might depend on the kids though…


Hey pal.
Congrats on your almost year!

Any time someone ask me a question like this I a always ask them the same question.
That’s who are you really doing this for? Is it to make your kids feel better or for you to feel better?
Cuz I can tell you that it will most likely not make anyone feel better. It will be confusing for the kids and you too.
Maybe have a talk with the 18 year old if you must. That’s something that could be more understandable for both of you.

And as far as people reading your name in the paper a year ago. I Lived in a town like that in Alaska. So when I got a dui at 21, I heard about it from friends and their parents. Lol. But that blew over in like a week.
People aren’t gonna remember that in years time and then tell your kids about it. Believe me, I understand your fear. But That’s like a classic addicts trait. We think that people are a lot more concerned about us and our lives than they really are. We think we are very important. Ya know? At least I did.

That’s my 2 cents pal.
Best wishes

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Thanks so much🥰. I really appreciate the advice thats a great idea

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While I think @Gabe.G has a point about not using children as a way to share your burden, I think children know a lot more than you realise. My children are a lot younger than yours (7 and 11) but there is no way I could hide much. In my family (my parents and me, not me and my kids) there were a lot of secrets, and things I guessed but was afraid to ask about, and then found out later, and it was hard to deal with. I think age-appropriate honesty is best. If you already have an open relationship with them then maybe you could broach the subject and find out what they know already. You don’t need to get into the itty-gritty of details, but something like you made a big mistake, you regret it and learnt from it.