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What to do When Your Loved One Doesn’t Want Help for Addiction

Loved One with Addiction, Not Wanting HelpIt is very seldom that you will find someone with an addiction who will admit that they need help. Addicts, by nature, do not see themselves as others do. The addiction causes changes in the brain which prevent the user from making rational decisions. Due to the fact that they need their drugs to function, they justify what is unjustifiable, make excuses for their behavior, manipulate those that love them and lie to others and themselves about their addiction. It has been said that loved ones cannot force their family into addiction treatment and that the addict has to want it for himself or herself. Until they want help, there is no point in trying to convince them that they need it. However, this may not always be the case.

Addiction and Denial go Hand-in-Hand

You may be wondering, “How can I even talk to my loved one about their addiction when they are in constant denial?” Addicts are notorious for denying that they have a problem or that they are using drugs at all. What do you say when you say something to your loved one about appearing to be high and they act offended and can’t believe that you would accuse them of this? As a matter of fact, confronting an addict who denies their addiction is the hardest thing a loved one can do. They may make excuses for why they are acting a certain way. For instance, they may tell you that they took some cold medicine and it affected them this way. They may say they have a new prescription from their doctor that they are having to get used to. There are a number of excuses they will come up with for their appearance and actions.

How to Approach Your Loved One with Your Concerns

The main thing to remember when trying to talk to your loved one about their drug addiction or abuse is to find a time when they are completely sober to have the conversation. Trying to talk to them when they are high will only exacerbate the problem, and that is the last thing you want to do. Remain calm while you talk and try not to become impatient with them or be judgmental. Voice your concerns for their health and well-being and let them know that you only want to help, not judge or argue with them. If they lose their cool and become defensive, don’t let your frustration with the situation deter you from trying to complete your conversation.

Be up front and honest with your loved one about how their actions are hurting you and causing you pain and mental stress from worrying about them constantly. Let them know you are not trying to lay a guilt trip on them, but that you want them to understand the toll their addiction is taking on you. They may honestly not realize the manner in which this is affecting you.

Think About Staging an Intervention

If all of your efforts to reason with your loved one have failed, you might stage an intervention where others such as family and friends who are close to and care about them can voice their worries and concerns. You all can discuss treatment options and suggest a facility for them to enter for rehabilitation. You will have to have consequences for the loved one if they refuse treatment, and be ready to carry out these consequences. This could be something like cutting ties with the loved one if they
continue on this destructive path. An intervention specialist can help you prepare for the intervention and attend if you wish.


No person can make a loved one do something they don’t want to do, especially if they are an adult. If your loved one does not want help for addiction and is not ready to quit using drugs, every rehab in the United States can’t make them stop using. All you can do is know that you tried everything that you knew to try and help them. You can’t “fix” them. Just let them know that you love them, but that you can’t help them. They have to want it for their self.

Hopefully, your loved one will seek help for their addiction through an addiction treatment facility and get the life back that they so deserve — a life free from drug addiction.

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