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What Do I Do if a Loved One Refuses Treatment?

It is really difficult to watch someone you really care about struggle with addiction. This can be even more painful when your loved one doesn’t think that they have a problem and doesn’t want to get help. It is normal to want to do everything that you can to help your loved one and encourage them to take the necessary steps to improve their life. Still, at the end of the day, if your loved one refuses treatment, you can not force them to seek help against their will. 

This doesn’t mean that you have to sit idly by or simply accept your loved one’s behavior. You can continue to help them to see why their behavior isn’t healthy and how they could benefit from treatment. It is also very important to set healthy boundaries with your loved one, especially if they don’t want to stop what they’re doing. Setting boundaries is important not only for your own mental health but for the health of your loved one as well. 

At Sage Recovery, we recognize that it can be very stressful and emotionally draining to have someone close to you struggle with substance use. We are here to help you as you walk through this journey. 

How Do I Approach My Loved One Who Refuses Treatment?

Maybe you think that your one isn’t open to treatment. Yet, have you had a serious conversation with them about it? For example, maybe the topic of them getting help is something that has been mentioned in passing, but not something you have talked about in depth. Before just assuming that your loved one is someone who refuses treatment, talk to them and see where they are at. Maybe they are more open to treatment than you realize but just don’t know where to begin. 

Having a serious sit-down conversation with your loved one about their substance use can feel intimidating. Maybe you’re worried that they will get angry with you or defensive. Additionally, maybe you are worried that talking to them about this could somehow damage your relationship with them. As uncomfortable as it might be at first, having this conversation is incredibly important. 

You never know how important your words could be to someone else. Just the fact that you noticed that your loved one was struggling and cared enough to discuss it with them could mean more than you realize. Even if this conversation doesn’t lead to them making a change the right way, it could still make a very positive difference in their life. Most importantly, they will know that someone cares about them and wants the best for them. 

When you approach your loved one about their substance use, there are a few things that are important to remember. You don’t want to try to shame them or make them feel guilty. Instead, you should simply let them know that you care about them and are concerned about them. Let them know that they don’t have to continue to live this way and there are resources available that can help. 

Remember to keep an even tone while speaking and avoid getting emotional. Allow your loved one a chance to speak and share what’s on their mind if they choose. End the conversation by encouraging them to seek treatment. Let them know you’ll be there to support them along the way. 

How Do I Set Boundaries With My Loved One Who Refuses Treatment?

If you finish this conversation and your loved one is still refusing treatment, it is likely time to consider setting some boundaries with this person. This is important to ensure that you are not unintentionally enabling their behavior. In other words, you don’t to make it easier for them to continue to engage in substance misuse without having to face any repercussions. A lot of people enable their loved one’s substance misuse without meaning to just by trying to do what they think is best for them. 

For you, setting boundaries with your loved one may include not being around them while they are engaging in active substance use. It might include refusing to pick up the slack for them if their substance use prevents them from keeping up with their responsibilities. Maybe you’re not going to lend them financial help the next time they ask unless they agree to get treatment. 

Why Is It Important for Me to Practice Self-Care During This Time?

Remember that to help your loved one, you have to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself first. This starts with even the most basic mental, physical, and emotional needs. Prioritize self-care as part of your daily routine. This should help reduce stress and allow you the time you need to check in with your own emotions. 

At Sage Recovery, we can help you to learn more about the importance of self-care in your overall health. 

If you currently have a loved one who is struggling with addiction and unwilling to get treatment, you are not alone. There are support groups available for the family members and friends of those in active addiction. You might consider giving one of these groups a chance. It can be a great way to connect with other people who can understand where you’re coming from and what you’re going through. If you are currently going through active addiction yourself and want to make a change, our team at Sage Recovery is here to help. Give us a call at (512) 306-1394 today and we can help you to learn more about the treatment options available.