How to Help a Loved One Who Refuses Treatment

shutterstock_151137650The central factor to bear in mind when a loved one refuses treatment is that they are still in denial. The very first thing that you must do to fight the addiction is to help the addict come to a realization or recognition of the problem. You can help them along this process by asking questions intended to reveal his or her mental state and perspective on the issue. You want to know how they perceive themselves in the context of their drug use and in the context of your relationship. You too, must also assess your own perceptions and ask yourself whether you are enabling the addictive behavior by not properly addressing it.  Denial on the part of the addict is what brought on the addiction. Improper communication on your part may be contributing to the problem as well. Take the following into consideration when approaching your loved one on the matter of seeking treatment.


Ask the addicted loved one to give you three reasons why they will not get help. This line of questioning will reveal how they perceive themselves and whether or not they are still in denial about the addiction. Once you determine your friend’s state of mind, ask a professional how you can bring resolution to the reasons stated. Share this information with your addicted loved one. It is very helpful to communicate the information in a conversational and inquisitive manner as opposed to a judgemental or lecturing tone. Express and emphasize how you want to come to a better understanding of each other’s needs for the purpose of preserving and enhancing your relationship together.


As a last resort, you can try to find a trusted individual who has lived through addiction and recovery. You want someone who has experienced both the pain and detriment of a broken life with drugs and the healing rewards of successful recovery and sobriety to give your loved one what they may perceive as a more credible source of information. Finally, if this too does not work, it may be time to contact a professional interventionist and begin the planning process for a family intervention meeting with the addict. When doing so, it is very highly advised not to skip out on consulting professional help. Interventions can go disastrously wrong when not properly planned out. There are simply too many variables and emotions involved which can detract from the purpose of the meeting. Professional interventionists are trained to identify these possibilities and help your group properly prepare for all scenarios.


For advice and guidance on conducting a family intervention, supporting a friend in recovery, or to speak with an addiction counselor, contact LEAD Recovery Center at 800.380.0012.