Your loved one is addicted to drugs and alcohol and you know that they desperately need to obtain professional addiction treatment in order to beat this disease. But, you also know that they might not be willing to take that step. In fact, they may even be highly resistant to it. There is no way of telling how your loved one will react to the idea of getting addiction treatment, so attempting to have a conversation that gets them to accept help is a must. But what happens if your loved one says they are not going to treatment? You might feel like begging and pleading for them to just accept the help, but doing that does little to help the overall situation. Now that you know that your loved one does not want to get treatment at this time, you might feel helpless, however you are far from it. There are several ways that you can help yourself as well as your addicted loved one even if they are not ready to go to treatment just yet.
Things to Do If Your Loved One Refuses Treatment
Less than a quarter of people with a substance use disorder seek professional treatment. If your loved one refuses treatment, know that you are not alone. Your loved one’s refusal to get help has no reflection on you as a person, nor does it mean that you have failed. Getting help when you are an addict or alcoholic is extremely frightening, which is why many do not enroll in treatment programs. However, how you can help an addict during this time can come from changing your behaviors and taking care of yourself. Consider the following:
While many people are aware that they are enabling their loved one, it is also common for the enabler to not recognize their enabling behaviors. The very first thing that you can do if your loved one refuses addiction treatment is to stop enabling them. Enabling an addict often looks like this:
- Providing them with money
- Covering up for them when they get in trouble because of their addiction
- Allowing them to use in your home
- Driving them to and from drug deals
- Ignoring them when they are under the influence
- Blaming others for your loved one’s shortcomings related to addiction
Enablers not only engage in activity that allows the addict to continually use, but also helps them feed their addiction easier. If you or someone you love is enabling the addict in your life, ending all enabling behaviors is a must, especially if the addict is refusing addiction treatment. This will eliminate the addict’s safety net, allowing them to feel the consequences of their use.
Learn about addiction
Most individuals struggle when addiction occurs within their families. That is because addiction is a highly personal and extremely destructive disease. But, the challenges that often accompany addiction tend to feel less heavy when you are educated about the disease. So, spend some time researching addiction. Some of the most helpful things that you can inform yourself on include the following:
- Why addiction is a disease
- What changes occur in the brain as a result of addiction
- Why addicts continue to engage in destructive behaviors despite consequences
- How addiction impacts the family unit
The internet and your local treatment centers and support groups can provide a great deal of information that can help you separate the disease of addiction from your loved one so that you can cope better.
Just because your loved one refuses to get addiction treatment does not mean that you don’t have to get help for yourself. It might seem ironic to be the one reaching out for help, but the truth of the matter is, addiction affects everyone it touches. Processing the emotions and events that have occurred is extremely vital for your wellbeing, as not addressing them can make things worse. One of the best, most immediate ways to obtain some help and support is to go to a local Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting. These meetings are rooted in the 12-Steps and are specifically for the loved ones of alcoholics and addicts. These meetings do not teach you how to help an addict, rather they focus on helping you process the big feelings that often develop when addiction is occurring in the family. These meetings invite you to share your feelings and experiences with others who can understand and relate. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon connect you to a support system that you can learn from, process the effects of addiction with, and develop healthy coping skills to reduce the upset caused by this disease.
So, your loved one refused to get addiction treatment. What are you supposed to do now? You might feel completely gun shy about even bringing up the topic of treatment again, especially if your loved one had an intense reaction to the thought of getting help before. But, now is not the time to withhold your support. Continue to encourage your loved one to seek professional help. Do so gently and without judgment. Offer to make all the phone calls in order to get the process moving. Tell your loved one that you are willing to, at any moment in time, help them get the care they need. This does not mean that you should support your loved one by enabling them, rather by showing them that if and when they ask for help, they know they can come to you. Pride and ego play a significant role in 99.9% of addicts’ and alcoholics’ lives, which means that letting up on your offers will be ineffective. Stay consistent with your support for treatment.
Does Someone You Love Need Addiction Treatment? Call Us Right Now.
Living with someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol is very painful and upsetting, especially if they are resistant to getting treatment. If your loved one needs help and you are not having success in getting them there, reach out to us right now. We understand the struggle that comes with addiction and we can help make it easier. So, do not wait.
Call us right now to learn more about how we can help you and your loved one.