Handling the Defiant Addict: When a Loved One Doesn’t Want Treatment

They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility. Teens today experiment with alcohol earlier and more often than ever before. They’re more likely to binge drink and more vulnerable to developing an alcohol use disorder than adults. This may be because the pleasure center of a teen’s brain matures before their capacity to make sound decisions.

Before you speak with them, try putting yourself in their shoes. The most important thing is to let them know that you care and that you’ll be there when they need your support. Approaching someone to discuss your concerns is different from an intervention.

It’s common for someone with AUD to try to blame their drinking on circumstances or others around them, including those who are closest to them. It’s common to hear them say, “The only reason I drink is because you…” Below are nine things that you can do that may help relieve the pressure, and in some cases, also better help your loved one start their path to recovery. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine.

Even if the person does not want help now, they may want some support in the future. Many addicts think they can control their behavior yet struggle to do so. Don’t drink around your friend or loved one, even in social situations. Your friend or loved one may also vow to cut back on their own.

Helping Someone with a Drinking Problem

If you are financially supporting someone with alcoholism or lying to help them hide their drug addiction issues, then you are enabling them. A 12th Step call refers to a step in Alcoholics Anonymous where one or more sober members talk to another alcoholic still drinking. They’re able to share what their drinking was like, what eventually drove them to make a change, and most importantly, what their life is like today without the drink. It’s that kind of message that can really get through to another person.I’ve been there, it was terrible, and now I don’t have to live like that anymore. Talking to an alcoholic about their problem, especially if you don’t have firsthand experience with addiction yourself, can be complicated. It can often feel like everything you’re saying is falling on deaf ears.

What do you say to an alcoholic?

Explain that you're worried about your loved one's health.

We suggest that you genuinely express your feelings to your loved one by saying something like “I'm concerned that drinking so much every day is harming your health. I've noticed that you're sleeping all day on the weekends.”

Choose a place that’s quiet and private, where you won’t be interrupted—and turn off your phone and other devices to avoid distractions. Our mission is to provide empowering, evidence-based mental health content you can use to help yourself and your loved ones. Being the spouse, partner, parent, child, or sibling of an alcoholic can be very complicated and stressful. So when you are looking for resources on how you can help an alcoholic that doesn’t want help, Phoenix Rising Recovery in Palm Desert, California, is here to help.

Press Play for Advice On Finding Help for Alcohol Addiction

Understanding this allows you to begin to set some parameters that can help. Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after. Neither Alcohol Rehab Help nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

Read on for some steps you can take to help your friend, family member, or loved one. If you notice that you are enabling the addiction, stop it immediately. Once you stop enabling the addiction, your loved one will recognize the consequences buspirone buspar of their actions. Additionally, by refusing to allow your loved one’s addiction, you make it more challenging for them to keep feeding it. You might feel helpless to change anything at all. No one can reach an alcoholic like another alcoholic.

What is the recovery position for alcohol?

If someone you know passes out from drinking alcohol, you can help reduce the risk of choking by positioning them in the recovery position: Raise the person's arm closest to you straight above the head. Straighten the leg closest to you. Bend the other leg at the knee and bring the other arm across the chest.

Before you decide to help someone, consider whether they show signs of being an alcoholic. An alcohol use disorder can range from mild to severe. Mild patterns may develop into more serious complications. Early treatment and intervention can help people with alcohol use disorder. While it’s up to the person to willingly start their sobriety journey, you can also help.

Questions About Addiction Treatment?

Understandably, your instinct would be to do everything to stop the addiction. If family members try to “help” by covering up for their drinking and making excuses for them, they are playing right into their loved one’s denial game. Dealing with the problem openly and honestly is the best approach. The key to dealing with alcohol dependency in the family is staying focused on the situation as it exists today.

  • It’s easy to lose sight of yourself and your needs when dealing with an addicted loved one.
  • Your loved one’s addiction may even be so overwhelming that it seems easier to ignore it and pretend that nothing is wrong.
  • It’s important to know and acknowledge how extremely difficult this is for both you and your loved one.
  • These same family members almost always have different opinions on how to address the alcohol problem.
  • 1 in 10 Americans struggle with a substance abuse disorder, and 15 million adults have alcohol use disorder .
  • Watching a loved one struggle with addiction issues can be difficult.

For example, when a loved one calls you from jail asking for bail money, your love for them may drive you to give them the money. The idea of your loved one in jail terrifies and disappoints you. The best way to discover the appropriate treatment option for your loved one is to reach out to an addiction specialist for help. “Rock bottom” can be described as an alcoholic’s lowest point, either emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Reaching ‘rock bottom’ may have devastating and lasting consequences, including those involving health, finances, and relationships. Individuals with AUD, also known as alcoholism, are unable to stop or control their alcohol use despite the negative social, occupational, or health consequences.

Be non-judgemental, empathetic, and sincere with them about your concerns and explain the consequences of their actions. Ensure that you can have their full attention during this discussion, ideally face-to-face, in a private setting where they can let their guard down. Tell your loved one that you believe they have a problem and how their addiction affects those around them. A medical doctor will be better able to identify the issues and see past the excuses of the addict.

Stay Focused on the Present

If your loved one drank because of boredom, anxiety, or loneliness, for example, those problems will still be present once they’re sober. Encourage the person to find healthier ways of coping with life’s problems and rebounding from setbacks without leaning on alcohol. Behavioral treatments include individual, group, and family therapy sessions. Of course, not everyone who drinks too much is an alcoholic.

how to help an alcoholic who doesn t want help

When a friend or family member struggles with alcoholism, their loved ones might not know how to get them the help that they need. Discovery Place near Nashville, Tennessee, is here for men who need help with alcohol addiction as well as other substance use disorders. Contact us today to help your loved one get the help that they need. Even if you’re not enabling the alcoholic in your life, there’s a good chance other friends or family members are.

You just happen to love someone who is probably going to need professional treatment to get healthy again. If your loved one is truly dependent on alcohol, they are going to drink no matter what you do or say. Verywell Mind’s content is for informational and educational purposes only.

how to help an alcoholic who doesn t want help

Consistent exposure to the disease of alcoholism brings family and friends for a ride on an emotional rollercoaster. The more you engage with an active alcoholic, especially one showing no signs of alcohols effects on blood pressure wanting help, the sicker you can become. Give yourself some space from them so you have a better chance at staying strong, holding your boundaries, and providing useful help when the time comes.

Though the benefits can vary widely from person to person, taking a month-long break from alcohol can do your body good. Some agencies and organizations offer treatments at no cost. Fear of what will happen to them if the alcoholic gets better.

Talk to other family members or friends and encourage everyone to get on the same page.

Urge the person to get into a formal treatment program. Ask for concrete commitments and then follow up on them. Feb 26, 2021 Alcohol Intervention Recognizing the Behaviors of an Alcoholic If alcohol were the only problem, families would most likely not be as affected as they are.

No matter the reaction, you should stay calm and assure your person that they have your respect and support. Jul 11, 2022 Alcohol Intervention How to Know if Someone is an Alcoholic There are many assessment tools available to help determine if someone has a problem with alcohol. The diagnostic how to quit drinking or at least cut back statistical manual (DSM-5) classifies an alcohol use disorder as mild, moderate, or… An intervention is not about how to control the substance user; it is about how to let go of believing you can. Eventually, it will not be sustainable for the alcoholic and others unwilling to tolerate it.

It doesn’t reach a certain level and remain there for very long; it continues to get worse until the person with an alcohol problem seeks help. If your loved one has become addicted to alcohol, however, theirbrain chemistry may have changed to the point that they are completely surprised by some of the choices they make. Encourage your loved one to take one step forward.

how to help an alcoholic who doesn t want help

Treatment concentrates on developing personal accountability and responsibility as well as encouraging patients to be sociable. They are encouraged to develop new, more constructive, and harmonious methods of communicating and interacting with others. An addiction specialist can answer your questions and guide you through your options.