Evoking a change in someone’s behavior is an extremely tough task – especially if that person doesn’t want you to help them. This is especially true when it comes to addiction. People who are dependent on some kind of substance – be it alcohol, drugs, or something else – often don’t even realize that they need help.
What’s more, if you try to push them too hard, you might achieve the complete opposite of what you wanted. As experts from ARC Project – an addiction treatment facility – explain, when an addict is pushed too hard to get help, their dependence on the substance increases, making it even harder to cut it out of their life.
However, does it mean that there’s nothing else to do aside from staying in the shadows and observing how your loved one is slowly fading away? Not really. There are some things you can do to help an addict that doesn’t want to be helped. Read on to find out more.
Learn More About the Addiction
There’s not much you can do if you don’t even know what you are dealing with. Before approaching your loved one about their addiction, learn more about everything connected with the addiction they are suffering from – how to detox, what are the withdrawal symptoms, what are the treatment options available, and so on.
The more you know, the better you’ll be able to approach the situation. Understanding what your loved one is going through – even if your knowledge is based on books – can help you speak knowledgeably when the time to discuss the issue finally comes.
Be There For Them and Offer Your Support
No matter how you are feeling about the whole situation, do not sound judgemental when having a conversation with your loved one. Instead, be empathetic. Try to make them understand that you are aware of their problem and ensure them that you’ll be there for them whenever they need your support.
You might also want to suggest and explain what treatment options they have – however, do that only when the person actually understands that they have a problem. Encourage them to get help.
Follow Through on Consequences
Many family members or friends might make the addicted person feel threatened. They might tell them that their actions will have serious consequences – especially when they refuse treatment. However, those usually end up being empty threats, with no actual measures taken. This is a mistake.
If you really want to help that person in their battle, you need to follow through with consequences – even if it’s something as simple as taking away the car keys or something more extreme, like forcing them to move out of the house. If you say you will do something, you have to do it. Otherwise, it will go in one ear and out the other.
Stop Enabling the Addiction
Another important aspect of helping someone who doesn’t want it is all about being able to stop enabling their addiction. Do you support your loved one financially, even if you know what the money goes towards? Do you help them hide the fact that they are struggling with addiction from others? If your answer is yes, then you are enabling addiction.
In order to help them, you need to stop doing it. It will not only make it harder for your loved one to continue with the addiction, but they might also finally begin to see that their actions have real consequences.
Consider an Intervention
Sometimes it might take more than one person to convince the addict to seek help. If you are unable to do it on your own, there are several professionals that might be able to help you by doing an intervention – especially since they most likely dealt with similar cases in the past. If the person you are trying to help is your spouse or your child, you might be able to seek legal intervention.
The Bottom Line
Helping someone who doesn’t want or doesn’t even know that they need help is by no means an easy task. What’s more, by being forced to get help, the addicted person might do the complete opposite. They might become even more dependent on the substance, which means that getting them to stop will become even harder than it was before.
Does it mean that the only thing left to do is nothing? Not really. As you could see above, there are several things you can do in order to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
However, while trying to help another person, you cannot forget about yourself – addiction affects more than just the person dependent on alcohol, drugs, etc. It affects everything and everyone around them – their significant other, their children, family, and so on.
So, even if you are not the one suffering from it, it might be affecting you just as much as them, which is why you also need to think about your mental h
ealth. Don’t neglect yourself for others.