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Active Addiction: How to Help an Addict Who Doesn’t Want Help

active addictionWhen an addict is in active addiction to drugs and alcohol, they may act unpredictable. An addict may even say they are “going to change” or make the commitment to seek treatment for their addiction, only to change their mind shortly after. Addiction is a complex disease that can leave parents, family members, and significant others puzzled about how to respond to their loved one who is struggling with an addiction.

Understanding Addiction to Drugs and Alcohol

Before even trying to figure out how you can help someone when they completely refuse or change their mind about wanting help for addiction, it’s critical to have an understanding of what addiction is. It isn’t a choice or moral dilemma – addiction is a disease that requires treatment in order for recovery to be obtained. A huge component of addiction is denial, and your loved one may be refusing help because they don’t believe they are an addict, don’t think treatment will help them, or feel they can “stop at any time.” This is denial, but your logic will mean nothing to the addict who defends their use and salvages their addiction. It is an example of just how cunning, baffling, and powerful the disease of addiction truly is. Understanding this and moving forward with effective ways of dealing with an addict who is in denial of their addiction can help you best proceed when your loved one doesn’t want help but needs it for their addiction.

Helping an Addict Who Doesn’t Want Help

So what do you do when your loved one is in active addiction but turns down help? It’s a tough situation to be in, but the truth is that the more you know about addiction, the more you can effectively respond to the addict in your life. One of the most critical ways to respond to an addict who does not want help is to not enable or condone their use. It’s okay to make it clear that you are not on board with their alcohol and drug use. Along with this, don’t enable your loved one by giving them money, continually bailing them out of legal trouble, or paying for their rent when they continue to use the substances they are addicted to. This helps you begin to set boundaries, which is another critical aspect to responding to an addict who is in active addiction but doesn’t want help. You can let your loved one know that you love them and want to be there to support them, but you need to make it clear that you do not approve of their alcohol and drug use. You can voice your concerns and distance yourself if you have to. It can be extremely difficult to set boundaries with loved ones, but these boundaries can ultimately help you have a better control over your relationship as well as protect your own emotional health.

Treatment for Addiction

The reality is that you cannot do the hard work for your loved one that is necessary for them to begin recovering from active addiction. Your loved one needs to do the hard work, but you can point them in the right direction. While you can’t make them stop, you can introduce them to addiction treatment options, host an intervention about their addiction, and voice your concerns. It’s a sad reality when your loved one needs help but cannot see it because they are in denial or refuse it. However, when you do not enable their addiction, voice your concerns, and maintain healthy boundaries, you are helping them as best as you can. Ultimately, it is up to your loved one. When you don’t prevent them from hitting their bottom, they may experience consequences of the addiction that push them into seeking help for their active addiction.

Addiction can be heartbreaking for all involved, but there is hope. Are you confused about where to turn because you or your loved one is hooked on alcohol and drugs? The Watershed Texas is here to help 24/7. Addicts can and DO recover. Call The Watershed for help today at 1-800-861-1768.

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