Substance abuse is a serious problem, and getting the right kind of help is crucial for individuals struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. However, it can be hard to know how to help an addicted loved one who refuses treatment. If someone you know is addicted to drugs or alcohol and is refusing treatment, it’s imperative that you understand the importance of providing gentle guidance and reassurance, even when the addicted individual doesn’t seem to be receptive to the idea of getting help. For more information about professional treatment services for substance abusers, contact the experts at A Forever Recovery.
Understanding Substance Abuse
There are a number of factors, both genetic and environmental, that may influence an individual’s propensity for substance abuse, but over time, brain chemistry also plays a role, as the long-term abuse of drugs or alcohol actually changes the way the brain functions. This can complicate treatment and recovery, because the portion of the brain that has to do with impulse control is no longer functioning the way it used to, making it more difficult for the addicted individual to make good decisions. It’s this absence of good judgment, paired with the desire to achieve the relief that comes with substance abuse, and the feelings of shame and frustration that come with being unable to quit, that spurs the destruction of an addicted loved one who refuses treatment.
How to Help an Addicted Loved One Who Refuses Treatment
Helping someone with drug addiction isn’t easy, especially if the addicted individual refuses to admit that their substance abuse is an issue in the first place. In some cases, the person may recognize that they have a problem and may even try to quit on their own, but the changes their substance abuse has affected in their brain may make that impossible, even if they desperately want to stop using. Even if they are able to recognize the ill-effects of drugs or alcohol on their health and well-being, quitting “cold turkey” isn’t always successful in the long term. In fact, studies have shown that, without proper substance abuse counseling and medical support, the risk of relapse is increased. There is still no definitive cure for addiction, but certain therapeutic modalities have proven successful for many addicted individuals, and helping your loved one access professional treatment is the one sure way you can help.
Common Signs of Addiction
Upon recognizing the signs of addiction in a loved one, your first impulse will likely be to talk to the individual about their substance use, and while that’s a logical first step, it’s important to remember that denial is one of the most common symptoms of addiction. If you bring up the issue of substance abuse and the person realizes they’ve overindulged at times and is able to correct the problem on their own, they may not need professional help. However, if the person denies having a problem with addiction, it may be indicative of a larger issue even though the addicted loved one who refuses treatment is the one denying that they need it. The following are some common signs of alcoholism or drug addiction that may signal the need for professional treatment:
- They are unable to stop drinking or using drugs on their own
- They are neglecting work or family obligations
- They are getting into legal trouble
- Their tolerance for the substance is reaching alarming levels
- They become sneaky or secretive
- Their substance abuse takes priority over other plans
- They use to the point of becoming physically ill
- They put themselves in risky situations
Call the Substance Abuse Experts at AFR
Addiction is a serious and potentially life-threatening disorder, and it can be scary to witness a beloved family member or friend’s downward spiral into drug addiction or alcohol abuse. And while it may be impossible for you to cure a loved one’s substance abuse problem on your own, you can provide the support and guidance the addicted individual needs to achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. To learn more about how to help a drug addict family member, contact A Forever Recovery and speak with an experienced substance abuse counselor today.