Relationships, confidentiality & telling others
NOTE: Quotes are presented word for word apart from minor editing for readability and clarity. Identifying details have been removed. Square brackets show text that has been added, e.g. ‘I want to maintain [my current level of consumption]’. Ellipses within square brackets […] show where text has been removed, e.g. ‘Counselling was good but […] I would have liked more information about other treatment options’.
The people interviewed for this website talk about how consuming alcohol or other drugs affects their relationships with family, friends and partners. They describe how it can contribute to, or sometimes disrupt, these relationships. A key concern for many is deciding whether to tell others about their drug use. Several people say that stigma associated with addiction and drug use influences whether or not they tell others (see also Dealing with stigma & discrimination; Work, study & making ends meet). They say they’re concerned that if they disclose they will be ‘looked down upon’ or marginalised. Those who have told others describe their reasons for doing so and any changes in consumption it produced. Some say their family and friends express concern when they think their alcohol or other drug use is creating problems, and suggest they seek treatment, cut down or stop altogether (see also Changing patterns of consumption). Concern expressed by loved ones, in some cases, introduced or confirmed the idea that they had an issue (see also Identifying or being diagnosed).