Loving an addict who refuses to go to rehab can be difficult. You may do everything in your power to try and convince them that going to treatment is the best option, yet find that your loved one is still refusing to get help. This can be devastating to your addicted loved one as well as to yourself and everyone else who loves and cares about them.
While dealing with an addicted loved one can be challenging, there are actions you can take to help push them towards treatment. Here are 7 steps to take if your addicted loved one refuses to go to rehab.
1. Educate Yourself About Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery
There are many myths and misconceptions about the disease of addiction. Even if you love someone who is an addict, there may be some things you simply don’t understand. As a result, the first step you need to take is to educate yourself about addiction, treatment, and recovery.
While all addictions and individuals are different, some key points to remember include:
- Addiction (substance use disorder or SUD) is a disease–not a moral failing.
- Many people who struggle with addiction are in denial but don’t always realize they are in denial. They don’t always realize the severity of their behaviors right away.
- Quitting drugs and alcohol cold turkey can be dangerous. Always do so under medical supervision.
- Addiction is treatable with a comprehensive and individualized recovery program.
- Rehab doesn’t cure addiction. Recovery often requires long-term support.
Before you take further steps to convince your loved one to go to rehab, be sure to do your research, understand the drug your loved one is using, and look into the different treatment and recovery options.
2. Suggest a Routine Doctor’s Visit
One of the best places to start with someone who refuses to go to rehab is a routine doctor’s visit. Suggest or schedule a routine check-up with your loved one’s doctor. Don’t tell your loved one this is part of your plan–simply suggest that it’s time for a routine visit or that you are concerned about a specific health problem.
Be sure to inform their doctor of their addiction and substance use before the visit. This way, the doctor can easily see past your loved one’s excuses and provide your loved one with an informed medical opinion. The doctor can suggest a treatment protocol or even prescribe a medication that can help your addicted loved one.
3. Stop Enabling Unhealthy or Addictive Behaviors
If your loved one still won’t go to treatment, immediately stop enabling their addictive behaviors. Enabling refers to actions that are well-intentioned, but end up furthering your loved one’s addiction. Examples of enabling include:
- Providing financial assistance
- Paying for housing
- Lying to others to cover up for your addicted loved one
- Taking care of responsibilities that your loved one is capable of doing themselves
When you stop enabling, you allow your loved one to face the brunt of their consequences. These consequences can be a wake-up call that he or she needs help.
4. Establish and Uphold Healthy Boundaries
All healthy relationships have boundaries, but boundaries are especially important when it comes to a relationship with an addicted loved one. Boundaries allow you to take care of yourself and protect yourself from getting hurt. They also help establish a sense of control and stability in your relationship.
Examples of acceptable boundaries to set with someone struggling with addiction include:
- Not allowing drugs or alcohol in the home
- Not speaking to your loved one while they are under the influence
- Refusing to bail them out of jail if they get into legal trouble
Set your boundaries verbally and uphold them with your actions. If your loved one tries to cross a boundary, remind them of what you will and will not tolerate. Stand firm in your decisions.
5. Stage an Addiction Intervention
If your addicted loved one still refuses to go to rehab after you stop enabling and start setting boundaries, your next step should be an intervention. Interventions are most successful when you work with a professional interventionist.
A professional interventionist can help you plan and carry out an effective intervention. He or she can act as a mediator as well as an addiction specialist to help guarantee success. This person can not only help you plan and stage the intervention, but they can also connect your loved one with the best rehab center for them.
6. Offer Your Support and Encouragement
In the rare circumstance that your loved one is still refusing to go to rehab, it’s important that you do not give up. You may feel discouraged and upset, but not all hope is lost. Continue offering your support, encouraging your loved one to seek help, and reassuring them that when they are ready to go to treatment, you will be there to assist.
Avoid getting angry, blaming your loved one, or criticizing them. Actions such as these can actually discourage them from going to you for help or accepting your help in the future.
7. Find Support For Yourself
Finally, it’s crucial to remember that you deserve help and support, as well. Dealing with an addicted loved one can be extremely tiresome and stressful. And, if you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. Be sure you give yourself the space you need to relax and practice self-care. Also, consider going to a support group such as Al-Anon or family counseling.
Find Help for an Addicted Loved One Who Refuses to Go to Rehab Today
Sometimes, getting your loved one on the phone with an addiction specialist for a simple consultation is all it takes to convince them to go to treatment. Worst-case scenario, your loved one will have an opportunity to learn about their treatment options and discuss their addiction with a third-party individual who specializes in addiction recovery.
If you love someone who needs help but is refusing to go to rehab, please give us a call today. Our world-class addiction specialists are here 24-hours a day to support you and help you find a recovery center near you.