To see someone you love struggling with what appears to be a treatable condition is heartbreaking. Family members watching a loved one bogged down by the weight of addiction may feel helpless, especially if this person is refusing to accept help. Many addicts are in denial about their problems and, when it is suggested that they get help, they may become aggressive or defensive. They will often tell their loved ones that they do not have a problem and that they definitely do not need any help. This can be frustrating to family members who can clearly see that the individual’s addiction is destroying his or her life.
Many family members think that if they just force their loved one into rehab, everything will be back to the way it used to be. However, no matter how much you want your loved one to get better or how hard you try, the simple fact is that they must want to get help themselves. You may convince them to go to rehab but, unless they are motivated to make a change, they may lack any real commitment to the programme and may not bother to work hard to get better.
It is best to try to get through to your loved one about the damage he or she is causing, both to his or her own life and to the lives of those around them. Some people find an intervention to be the best method for this; enlisting the help of a qualified professional can help greatly in this regard.
It is hard for family members to understand why their loved one does not want to get help. Unless you have been affected by addiction personally, it can be difficult to comprehend the pull this can have. Addiction is an illness that affects the brain, and those affected will not be seeing things as clearly as you may be. Many addicts are full of excuses as to why they use a particular substance or engage in a particular activity, and many will place blame on their circumstances or even on other people. Some will believe that their addiction makes them feel better and will be unwilling to accept that it is their addiction that is causing more harm.
A person affected with addiction will usually only be prepared to accept help when he or she has reached a point where they feel they are ready for a change. This is often described as hitting rock bottom, and it will be different for every addict. Some will be scared into wanting to change after, for example, a life-threatening experience or when faced with an ultimatum from a family member. Before your loved one is ready to accept help, he or she must reach this point and decide that enough is enough.
You may be able to get through to the person and encourage him or her to accept help. There may be certain times where they are less resistant to the idea of professional help, such as after a particularly bad comedown or hangover or after a period of bad behaviour. Alternatively, you can arrange an intervention with other members of the family and a professional interventionist.
If you need assistance arranging an intervention or want information about where to access treatments for addiction, call Rehab Helper today. Our advisors will provide you with all the information you need and can offer advice and support where needed.