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What to Do if a Loved One Refuses to Go to Rehab

If you love someone who struggles with substance abuse or addiction, you probably understand the emotions that go along with this condition. Guilt, anger, helplessness, sadness– you may feel any or all of these as you watch your loved one live with the consequences of their addiction. You may worry about their safety, their health, or their future.

It’s natural to want to help someone who is struggling with addiction, and it’s also normal to be a little confused about what to say or how to help them. Many people may feel unsure about how to bring up a topic as sensitive and emotional as addiction and worry that they may push their loved ones away if they say the wrong thing.

Addiction is a serious condition. People who live with an untreated addiction are at risk of overdose, devastating health problems, and legal or financial issues that affect them for the rest of their lives. It is very important to offer help and support to your loved ones as soon as you know they need substance abuse or addiction treatment.

But what if your loved one refuses to go to rehab? Someone struggling with addiction may not be able to make good choices about their health and safety. They may require extra love, support, and encouragement to get the addiction treatment they need.

At Mandala Healing Center, we believe that anyone can recover from addiction if they have the right care and resources. We’ve put together a guide to help you decide what to do if someone you love won’t go to rehab.

Reasons Someone Refuses to Go to Rehab

Each person has their own journey with addiction and their own reasons for refusing to seek addiction treatment. However, there are several common reasons that someone might decide that they won’t go to rehab. These include:

  1. Denial. Your loved one may not believe that they have a problem or that their substance abuse isn’t harmful enough to require treatment.
  2. Fear of losing their job or leaving their family. One of the most common reasons people delay or refuse addiction treatment is a fear of taking time away from work or leaving their family. This is especially true for women who are often responsible for the bulk of childcare responsibilities.
  3. Overwhelmed by choices. There are many levels of care and treatment facilities available. Finding the right program, dealing with health insurance, and arranging for time off work can all be difficult, especially when someone is actively using drugs or alcohol.
  4. No incentive. Some people refuse to go to rehab because the people around them protect them from the legal, financial, and social aspects of their addiction so they do not feel motivated to seek treatment.

Understanding why your loved one is refusing treatment may help you offer the right support to get them to change their mind.

Steps to Take to Help an Addicted Loved One

Once you know that your loved one needs help, there are some steps that you can take to help them get into an addiction treatment program.

  • Get educated about addiction – Learn about this condition and its causes, as well as local treatment options and available community support.
  • Get them a medical checkup – This can be a great place to start if you don’t know how to have a conversation about addiction and treatment.
  • Identify and stop enabling behaviors – This might include financial support or protecting them from the social and legal consequences of their substance abuse
  • Offer love and support – You want to make sure your loved one knows that you are on their team
  • Consider having an intervention – If your loved one is refusing treatment or won’t’ even listen when people bring it up, an intervention may be necessary

You can also reach out to the staff at a local addiction treatment facility to discuss what options you have and what treatment plans are available. Finding the right support for yourself is important as you navigate this difficult situation.

What if Your Loved One Won’t Go to Rehab?

First of all, it’s important to be realistic–and gentle–with yourself. You can’t force your loved one to go to rehab, as much as you might want to. You do have some powerful tools to use that may help them realize that choosing rehab is the right thing.

It is important to create an environment that makes treatment appealing. For many people, this may involve getting an education about addiction and rehab and starting therapy. In some cases, family patterns can contribute to addiction and keep people from engaging in treatment or recovery. If concerned family members begin the process of identifying these patterns, it can sometimes encourage the addicted person to seek treatment. If nothing else, it improves a family’s ability to function, and this can lead to a reduction of friction and more peace.

Set boundaries and enforce them. In many cases, this may mean that you stop giving the person money, refuse to shelter them from legal consequences, or that you ask them to move out of your home. This can be very difficult, but it can help your loved one realize that getting treatment is necessary.

Lastly, it is important to offer continuous support and care. While you do not have to financially or emotionally support their addiction, you can offer them love and encouragement, as well as help finding the right treatment program when the time comes.

Find Help for an Addicted Loved One Today

Whether you or a loved one need addiction treatment or support at any stage of recovery, the staff at the Mandala Healing Center is ready to help. We offer a range of comprehensive and thoughtfully designed programs that can help empower you on your addiction recovery journey.

Call now to speak to one of our caring admissions counselors.