800-430-1407 Who Answers?
Call 800-430-1407 to speak with a drug abuse counselor.
Who Answers?

What If My Family Won’t Support My Treatment?

So, you are researching inpatient drug rehab and you are looking at the importance of family therapy in these programs. But, what if your family is opposed to both your treatment and to any participation in therapy? Nothing can take the wind out of your sales faster. How can you succeed when it feels like everyone you love is hindering your progress?

Though it may seem like inpatient rehab without family backing is pointless, don’t let that stop you. You need treatment for yourself and not for them. Your life doesn’t have to be dictated by what other people think you need. You are the boss of your own life.

But, that doesn’t mean you have to run headlong into treatment and leave your family behind. There are ways to deal with this.


According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there are four components that your success in recovery depends upon: health, home, purpose, and community. Community indicates a level of support from people who provide love, acceptance, and hope.

Family Won’t Support

Although your family may not agree with your decision at first, they may change their minds once they see your progress in treatment.

SAMHSA goes on to link relationships and social networks to family. It is assumed that family will champion your recovery. In addition to support, they should “similarly experience the moments of positive healing as well as the difficult challenges.”

SAMHSA acknowledges the family of an addict in recovery can suffer in their occupational, financial, and social lives. In addition, the family may face negative experiences in overall family life. These regrettable situations can increase anger, guilt, shame, family stress, loss, grief, and isolation. Your family may have distanced themselves from you for reasons like these.

Alternatively, your family may simply not believe in getting outside help or therapy. Perhaps, they place all of their concerns with a higher power and hope for resolution. They may simply belong to a culture that does not talk about problems.

Without these champions of your recovery, where do you look for community?

Redefining Family

You should keep in mind that blood relations are not the only definition of family. The definition of family is influenced by cultural concerns and belief systems and because those change over time, so does the definition of family.

SAMHSA defines four broad categories of family types:

  • Traditional families: these are typically limited to an immediate family that lives together. This includes children and parents of all types: biological, adoptive, foster, step, single, and alternate family members (like grandparents) serving as parents.
  • Extended families: these are typically traditional family that live outside of the immediate family, like grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
  • Elected, or intentional, families: these are families made by choice and self-identified. These do not include blood relatives. This type of family is, for many people, of greater importance than natural family.

All you need to be a family is a close emotional relationship that doesn’t fade or change over time or distance. All participants will contribute to the dynamic of the family unit.

Instead of feeling isolated because your natural family isn’t supportive, look to your intentional family. Don’t feel tied up in conventional definitions of family. You can define your own relationships however you want.

How to Talk to Your Family About Your Inpatient Rehab Choice

Changes of Heart

It’s worth considering the idea that your family may adjust their attitude. So often, people in a family swallow a lot of resentment and this can make them act out during times of stress and change. Maybe your mom won’t support you because she hasn’t felt supported in a long time by you. That isn’t fair, but it is understandable. She may not feel that way forever.

When people enter inpatient rehab, their families have a way of changing their minds. Once you show some growth and you persevere in your recovery, your family may choose to respect your progress by participating.

Even if they don’t, you still own all of your hard work and there is no reason that your family won’t come around eventually. But, the last thing you need are toxic relationships, so give yourself permission to distance yourself from unhealthy relationships. You may have to in order to make the most of rehab.

If you are thinking about inpatient rehab and you have some uncertainty, you need to speak to experts. We can answer questions, connect you with resources, and direct you to an inpatient rehab center that works for you. Give us a call at 800-430-1407Who Answers?.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWFree and Confidential. Call800-430-1407Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?