Should I Tell People in my Church that I’m Going to a Rehab?

Making the decision to go to a rehab is a major step. When entering a process like drug rehabilitation, a person hopes to receive treatment to get on the road to full recovery from addiction. While the individual is held responsible for following the steps and succeeding in the program, incorporating other people into the journey can be extremely helpful. Prime examples are family members and friends. Unfortunately, there are times when the effects of drug addiction push family and friends away. Another great resource is the church. When dealing with the church, it can, ironically, be considered taboo to share personal struggles. Depending on the climate of the church, it may do more harm than good to share. However in most cases, it is still beneficial to share with one or a few church members about what is going on in one’s personal road to recovery. When deciding to share the news of rehab, consider these factors when reaching out to people within the church.

1. Who to Tell

The church usually has a leadership team, or church board. At the very top of the team is usually the pastor. Pastors normally have a confidentiality clause to uphold and must keep information private. With the exception of cases of abuse, molestation or threat to physical safety, pastors must keep sensitive information, such as drug rehabilitation, private unless given permission by the individual. It is important for church members facing struggles to know they can come to their pastors in a safe haven. If the pastor recommends talking to any other professionals within the church, consider that advice also.

2. Accountability

When making the decision to tell others in the church about a rehab visit, look for people who will be willing to help uphold an accountability factor. It is important to have people to be transparent with. Shedding light on a dark area is the only way to eliminate the dark. Shedding light involves being transparent about the visits, the struggles, the challenges and the desires. People who will not judge, and who are committed to encourage, often prove to be the best to confide in.

3. Concern

It is often easier to share the journey with church members who have shown genuine concern in the past. Try meeting with a trusted member outside of church. Consider a relaxed public setting, like a coffee shop. Share the current struggles and the desire for prayer, encouragement and accountability to beat the addiction. When a concerned individual sees a person earnestly trying to get out of a negative situation, it is almost impossible for them to refuse the offer to help.

4. Awareness

As previously mentioned, the church can sometimes be a place where it is difficult to share personal struggles. In church, people hold this unrealistic expectation on one another to be holy, perfect and happy all the time. People struggle with their own demons, which is why everyone is in need of Jesus Christ. As it may be a current fight for an individual, sharing with others can also bring awareness of the seriousness of addiction. Sharing with others can also show that everyone has something they have to overcome. The more people hide their struggles, the more they have to fight alone. There is strength in numbers. When one comes out and shares their hurt or current struggle, it can help create a community where transparency is fostered and true deliverance can occur.

At the end of the day, it is entirely up to the individual whether or not it is best to share. However, there are so many positives that far outweigh any negatives. If one is determined to use discretion, prayer and wisdom when reaching out, a successful support system may be fostered and a beautiful story of full recovery can be experienced.

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