Should I Tell My TBI Rehab Staff About My Previous Addiction?


I’m in rehab for a brain injury but haven’t told my therapists that I am also an addict. My family says I should tell them, but I think why should I? I’m clean now, so what difference would it make?


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So you're in rehab now, you've had a brain injury, you previously had a problem with addiction but you feel like you've addressed that and you are sober now. The question is, does my rehab staff need to know, the rehab professionals I'm working with now need to know about my prior addiction? My advice to you would be yes, I think it might be a good idea to share that with them. There are some changes in your brain, changes in your behavior that come along with a brain injury. And while it's great that you were able to address that addiction before the injury, there might be some new twists now that it would be helpful to maybe have the professional input and support from your rehab team. Rehab professionals, this is not new to them. There are many folks who have had prior problems with substance abuse who then have brain injuries. They are not going to hold that against you. I wouldn't expect them to have any kind of stupid stereotypes about that. But instead, I think what you could expect is some additional support for keeping the changes that you've already made, keeping them in your life now that you've had a brain injury. And again, there is no question that it's very important to address substance abuse problems and not become addicted, in your case, again now that you've had this traumatic brain injury.
Posted on BrainLine August 24, 2011.

About the author: John Corrigan, PhD

Dr. John Corrigan is a professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Ohio State University, and director of the Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation. He is the project director for the Ohio Regional Traumatic Brain Injury Model System.

John Corrigan