What To Do When Your Loved One Won’t Agree To Treatment

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Let’s say that no matter what you’ve tried, your loved one won’t agree to treatment, even though he or she is in the savage throes of drug or alcohol addiction. If that’s your situation, you’re probably experiencing a roller coaster ride of emotions: Anger, fear, grief, frustration, and more. And if you’re like most people with a loved one in this situation, you’ve tried to help: You’ve driven him or her to appointments; you’ve covered up for bad behavior; you may have even gone so far as to pull your family together for a professional intervention. Still, your loved one refuses treatment. What do you do?

First, understand that the reason your loved one won’t agree to treatment is because he or she is in the grip an insidious disease. Addiction isn’t a conscious choice, it’s an illness that takes away the ability to choose wisely and sanely. If you can remember the disease aspect of addiction, your anger may be replaced with compassion, and you may be able to stop blaming your loved one.

Second, don’t blame yourself, either. You did not cause the disease. Neither can you control or cure it. Taking the blame off yourself could relieve a great deal of the stress you feel when your loved one refuses professional help.

Third, let go. Most addicted individuals need to find their lowest point before they can break through their denial. While it may be excruciating to watch a loved one self-destruct, standing back and letting the most severe consequences unfold could be the best thing you ever did for this person.

And finally, don’t give up on your loved one if he or she refuses treatment. Millions of individuals have given up and sought professional help, and have recovered from the disease of addiction. Your loved one can, too.

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