5 Steps to Take if a Loved One Refuses to Go to Rehab - ARISE

Watching your loved one struggle with addiction is never easy–especially once they begin to suffer from behavioral changes, like socially isolating from their loved ones or becoming irate and defensive when their substance abuse is brought up.

If your loved one suffers from a substance use disorder, you have probably spent many nights lying awake wondering if there is any way you can help them. Because you did not cause their addiction, you also cannot fix it. However, there are things that you can do to push them in the right direction.

Helping your loved one overcome addiction is not easy. You have to set boundaries and ensure that your efforts to help them are not actually enabling them to further their substance abuse. This can be difficult to do, as there is a fine line between helping and enabling.

Here are 5 steps you should take if your loved one refuses to go to rehab.

1. Stop Enabling

First, you have to understand exactly what enabling is to be able to stop doing it. Enabling is defined as doing things for a person with an addiction problem that they could normally do for themselves if they were sober. For example, enabling could look like buying food for your loved one, paying their bills, or simply allowing them to live at your house without making them put any effort into working or paying bills.

In other words, enabling refers to doing things for them that they are entirely capable of doing themselves. Rather than allowing them to face the full force of their consequences, you go out of your way to shield them from the very consequences that may make them accept treatment.

When you are trying to stop enabling, there are some things you should do and some things you shouldn’t. You should offer them support, set boundaries, and let them deal with the consequences of their actions, but you shouldn’t make excuses for them, take over their responsibilities, or save them from legal consequences.

2. Set Boundaries

When you are living with someone who refuses to go to rehab, it is important to set boundaries. While this can feel hard and sometimes seem mean, setting boundaries is important to the recovery process. If they don’t have rules in place, they will never face any consequences of their addiction – allowing them to continue using.

Signs you need to set boundaries with your loved one include:

  • You bring up their past wrongdoings
  • Feeling the need to constantly tell him or her what to do
  • Sending them on guilt trips
  • Criticizing their behavior or actions
  • Giving them solutions when they haven’t asked for them
  • Covering for them when they mess up
  • You have been taken advantage of, stolen from, or emotionally abused
  • You walk on eggshells to avoid conflict

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to set some boundaries. Boundaries can include not allowing drugs or alcohol in the house, setting a curfew, requiring them to contribute to chores, or refusing to give them money. If a boundary is broken, there must be a consequence that you stick to.

3. Schedule a Doctor’s Appointment

When a loved one is refusing to go to addiction treatment, there are a few ways you can prove to them that they need it. One of the best ways to do this is to schedule a doctor’s appointment.

Speak with the doctor ahead of time to let them know that your loved one suffers from addiction and needs to be assessed for health and medical safety. Tell your addicted loved one that they are just going in for a check-up, so they will show up for the appointment.

Once your loved one is there, the doctor will ask normal check-up questions and then go on to ask them about substance use. If your loved one is honest with them, the doctor can then suggest professional treatment. Sometimes hearing from an unbiased medical professional will convince an addict that it’s time to get help.

4. Start Going to Al-Anon Meetings

Part of helping your addicted loved one includes helping yourself. You cannot be there for someone if you are also struggling with no help. One of the best ways to receive support for the effects of your loved one’s addiction is to join a support group known as al-anon.

Al-anon is a nonprofit organization that provides support to individuals who are related to people who suffer from addiction. They host meetings that include topics of discussion relating to recovering from the effects of a loved one’s addiction. These meetings can show you that you are not alone and provide you with the support you need to start feeling better.

5. Set Up an Intervention

When your loved one refuses to go to rehab, you can choose to set up an intervention. Addiction interventions are professional processes that involve the family of an addict coming together to convince them to get treatment with the supervision of a professional. In other words, the overall goal of an intervention is to convince your loved one to get addiction treatment.

Interventions are carefully planned out processes that work out best when a professional is hired. Professional interventionists will plan the entire process and have a treatment program set up and ready for your loved one to be admitted immediately after the intervention ends. This prevents your loved one from being able to change their mind about receiving treatment.

Find Help for Yourself and an Addicted Loved One

Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that can cause individuals to become in denial that they even have a problem, to begin with. Over time, this denial can become dangerous as the addiction progresses, leaving people at risk of experiencing the consequences of addiction. If addiction is left untreated, people can develop illnesses, lose their homes, and even suffer from a fatal overdose.

If your loved one is refusing to go to addiction treatment, call Arise Treatment Center today. We can help you convince your addicted loved one that they require professional help to live a full and happy life.


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