How to Cope When Your Loved One Refuses Help                       

Addiction is a harmful disease, and not just for the addict. Drug addicts and alcoholics impact everyone in their lives, but those they love are often hurt the most. If you have been living with an addict you might be at the end of your rope. You see the problem. You have been patient and understanding. You have offered help. You have tried to get him to accept professional treatment. He refuses the help. Now what? When you see no light at the end of the tunnel you may be ready to give up hope, and no one would blame you.

Should I Give Up?

The temptation to give up and move on from your loved one battling addiction will be strong. It is never stronger when he absolutely refuses to get help or agrees, but never follows through on the promise. Whether you should let him go is a personal decision. Think about the impact the relationship is having on your life. Is it worth your continued efforts? Could you live with yourself if you gave up completely? These are the kinds of things you need to consider before you leave your loved one behind for good.

What About Consequences for the Addict?

You may have thought about telling your loved one that there will be consequences for not getting help. Maybe you told your son you would cut off financial assistance, or you told your partner that you would move out. Addicts often see these as empty threats. Your loved one may not believe that you would really abandon him or her and won’t take your statements seriously. If you cannot get your loved one to accept help, enforcing the stated consequences will be a powerful move. When he sees that you really will take away the money, leave him, or move the kids to their grandparents’ house, it could be the push he needs to finally make a change.

Would an Intervention Help?

If your loved one has not taken your offers of help or doesn’t even believe he has a problem, consider enlisting the assistance of others. Ask other friends or family members to take part of the burden of responsibility. You should not be the only one trying to convince him that he needs help. There is strength in numbers, which is why interventions often work. An intervention is a meeting of several people who care about the addict. An intervention is designed to convince him to get help. A good intervention should be planned in advance. Each person should be prepared to give the addict examples of how his problem is impacting others. You should be ready with a concrete plan for getting treatment. You should also be ready with consequences that he will face if he fails to take the help. If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of organizing such an event, consider using an intervention professional.

Take Care of Yourself

Ultimately, you can only control your own actions and behaviors. If your loved one will not accept help, you have a choice to make. Through this whole process remember to take care of your own needs. Join a support group to share your experiences with others. Unburdening yourself to people who understand you can be a powerful and healing process. Take time to exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, and cope with your stress. If you want to keep making an effort to convince your loved one to get help, you have to be well yourself.

There is still hope.

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