Does your loved one need help with his/her addiction? Here’s what you should do to help an addict when he or she is refusing rehab.
Some people think that addiction to drugs or alcohol only affects the user. In truth, though, the condition casts a longer shadow than the regular person might be led to believe.
Problematic behaviors stemming from drug addiction and alcoholism can also negatively impact a user’s family members, friends, and other people they may be close to.
It can be made all the more frustrating when the person dealing with substance use disorder fails to recognize that they have a problem. Or worse, if they refuse to even acknowledge that there is one.
You can present a list of the best drug rehab facilities in New York or in your local city to an addicted, but it won’t make much of a difference.
That’s because they are defiant about their habits and don’t recognize the harm they’re causing themselves and others. Or because they are simply too dependent on the substance of their choice to even consider being without it.
Whatever the reason for their refusal, the result will be a difficult stalemate. Fortunately, there are a few ways to cope and deal with the situation.
Is Your Loved One Refusing Rehab? Take These Steps!
Here’s what you can do when someone you love is refusing rehab for alcoholism or drug addiction:
1. Educate Yourself About The Situation
Living with someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol and isn’t interested in getting help for their dependence is always going to be uncomfortable and difficult.
However, you don’t have to take it sitting down. As long as you aren’t in denial about the circumstances, you can be a source of support for someone struggling with an unhealthy dependence.
Educating yourself about addiction and what your loved one might be going through is both proactive and productive.
It allows you to understand the magnitude of the situation while remaining objective, and it can prepare you for various issues that may come up later on.
For example, you can start learning about withdrawal symptoms or how to spot the signs of an overdose early.
As difficult as it may be to read about these subjects, learning about them can spell the difference between life and death should anything untoward occur.
2. Enforce Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are important in any relationship, but especially so when it’s with a loved one who is abusing. They provide you and others around the user with a bit of protection against the detrimental effects of addiction.
Boundaries can also help you feel a bit more in control of a difficult and unpredictable situation, as would be the case when your loved one refuses treatment.
Every individual is different, which means that you should tailor your boundaries depending on your specific situation.
Good examples of healthy boundaries to set include:
- Banning drugs or alcohol in your presence or in the house,
- Barring drug-using or enabling friends from your home,
- And telling your loved one that you will not be responsible for them in any way if they are arrested.
3. Establish The Consequences
After establishing boundaries, the next step is to let your loved one know that there will be consequences if they are crossed.
This shows them that your limits are to be respected—no ifs, ands, or buts.
The most difficult thing about setting consequences, perhaps, is following through on them.
In a lot of cases, individuals who are dealing with substance use disorder won’t believe that you’re serious.
Your loved one may even try to push the limits of your boundaries just to see what they can get away with.
You’ll have to be firm, whether the consequences are as light as taking away their phone or as drastic as moving out entirely or reporting them to the authorities.
4. Stop Being An Enabler
What is an enabler? It’s someone who enables and abets an individual’s problematic behaviors, whether consciously or unconsciously.
- It can be a mother who continues to make excuses for an alcoholic son who goes into violent rages after drinking.
- It could be a father who pays for his drug-addicted daughter’s rent or groceries, leaving her with enough spare cash to sustain her habit.
- Or it could be the significant other who chooses to turn a blind eye to their partner’s shifty behavior.
In most cases, enablers do what they do to protect and hold onto their addicted loved ones. They may also enable out of fear, or because they think it’s easier than encouraging the user to get help.
Enabling is not love. If you are still providing financial support to someone who is abusing drugs or alcohol, you should stop immediately.
Cutting off their funding means that they’ll be able to put less money towards their habit.
It’s also an effective reality check that can show them how difficult it is to sustain their addiction, thus making the prospect of getting treatment more attractive.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with an addicted loved one who is refusing rehab is to take care of yourself.
Sometimes, unfortunately, there’s precious little that you can do for them, which can be very disheartening.
However, you only have jurisdiction over your actions and you can’t force anyone to go into rehab before they’re ready to.
So, look after yourself and continue to maintain your boundaries. You can also look into joining support groups where you can meet people going through the same ordeal.
And if you feel like you must remove yourself from the situation entirely, go ahead. It sounds callous, but sometimes it’s exactly the kind of motivation your loved one might need to get clean.
Whenever you’re in a situation where your loved one is refusing rehab, try to follow these four tips. Don’t just give up on your loved ones because of their addiction; offer your full support!