Your loved one is struggling with addiction. You and the rest of their friends and family have recognized this and want to help them. There’s just one problem: they don’t want help.
They may not think they need help, mistakenly feeling in the midst of the throes of substance abuse that they “have everything under control.”
They may, on the other hand, recognize they need help but have decided they’re too far gone to receive it, or have done too much wrong to deserve it. They will actively reject help rather than take it despite their own recognition of the problem.
And they may be, for the moment, perfectly content in their addiction, happy to risk the dangers of substance abuse as long as they keep getting hits of their drug of choice. They may know worse could come but are willing to wait until worse happens – perhaps unaware that worse could mean overdose or even death.
You, however, know they need help and are intent on getting them the help they need. Which raises the essential question:
How do you help an addict who doesn’t want help?
It won’t likely be an easy process, but it is possible, with patience, assistance and perseverance.
First, you need to educate yourself on addiction, on the dangers of the substance they abuse and the possible consequences of their continued overuse. With knowledge comes advantage in any discussion between you and the addict. Platitudes won’t be enough. You need facts and hard data to reach them.
Next, offer your support. Don’t overly criticize or judge them, which can turn them off to any part of your message. Approach them with sincere willingness to help, but let them know their continued substance abuse cannot continue. Draw a firm line and offer to help them meet that challenge.
If they refuse you, as they likely will at this point in the process, prepare to enforce consequences. They must know that failure to get help will mean you will take action to change their behavior. You must stop enabling them, if you have been, such as by providing them with funds or assistance they have been funneling into drugs rather than genuine aid. If you have issued an ultimatum, be prepared to follow through: evict them if they live with you, cut off their finances, stop covering for them with others. Make them face their own issues alone and realize how much help they truly need.
If they still won’t participate in therapy or rehab even after all this, you may need a full intervention, where you and other loved ones confront the addict about their behavior and tell them why they must get help. A concerted effort and a united front may get through where one-on-one conversation and consequences do not.
And seek help of your own from professionals, such as the staff at Good Landing Recovery. They can give you advice and assistance in getting your loved one help and treatment for their addiction.
Consider giving them a call today and start the process of convincing your loved one to seek help, even if they currently refuse to acknowledge their need, now.