If you have a loved one who is struggling with alcoholism, you may be trying to get them to enter an alcohol rehabilitation center. Amy Winehouse’s infamous “Rehab” song may sum up exactly what happens when you try to push this issue. Your loved one may simply give you excuses and tell you no. While you can’t force them into a treatment facility, you also can’t place your life on hold and constantly worry and wonder about them. Here are a few things you can and should do if your loved one refuses rehab.
Join a Support Group
If you have a loved one who is facing an addiction of any type, joining a support group for family members of addicts is a great idea. Unfortunately, while your friends and family may try to be there for you, it can be hard for them to understand exactly what you are thinking and feeling. When you join a support group, such as Al-Anon, you are connected to others going through the same thing you are. Having this support system can be invaluable and helps ensure that you don’t feel alone on this journey.
Set Boundaries and Stick to Them
When your loved one is in need, the compassionate side of you wants to help them. However, sometimes when you help an addict, you are enabling them. In order to fully help them, you need to set boundaries and stick to them. For example, if they ask you for money, tell them that you are unable to help them financially until they enter and complete a rehab program. As you set boundaries, be prepared for a lot of push back and a lot of excuses. It is very common to hear that the money is needed for a necessity, such as food. In this instance you may decide that you will offer your loved one food, but not money. Prepare yourself for excuses and have boundaries in place for every excuse you can think of.
Stage an Intervention
If you have asked a loved on to go to rehab, but they have refused, it may be time to involve your entire family and stage an intervention. Some individuals need to see that their actions are hurting more than just one person in order to realize the severity of their problems. A professional interventionist can help prepare you and your family for the intervention, keep things from becoming heated and offer tips and advice. Always consider going this route, rather than trying to stage your own intervention. However, you need to be prepared. Despite your best efforts, not every intervention works and not every addict will enter a rehab facility. Hope for the best but mentally prepare yourself for the possibility of the worst.
Get On With Your Life
If you have staged an intervention and set boundaries, and your loved one still refuses to enter a treatment program, it is time for you to move on with your life. An addict is not going to change until they are ready to, no matter how much you wish they would. And you cannot put your life on hold constantly worrying and wondering about them. This does not mean that you have to shut them out of your life. You can be there for them when they need someone to listen or someone to care about them. But you need to continue to stick to your boundaries and move forward in your life.
Seeing your loved one’s life spiral out of control as they deal with alcoholism is a hard thing to witness. Your basic instincts are to help them. However, not everyone wants help or will accept help. If you have tried to get your loved one into rehab (at centers like Pacific Ridge) and they refuse, you should join a support group, set boundaries, or stage a professional intervention. If the addicts behavior and mindset still doesn’t change, you simply need to accept them for who they are and move on with your life.