What if Your Loved One Doesn’t Want to Get Clean?
It can be hard to deal with a loved one who does not want to get clean, but just because he or she does not wish to get clean does not mean that all is lost. It is not always easy for an addict to decide to become sober.
Many different situations can convince a drug addict that becoming clean is not for him or her and that it is better to continue using their substances. There are a number of ways a family member or friend can convince their loved one to get clean.
Withdrawal is Hard
Withdrawal is one of the hardest parts of becoming sober and if the loved one has experienced the intense cravings associated with it, it can deter them from seeking out the help that they need to be sober. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, withdrawal symptoms become more severe as the addict stops using their substance.
Some of these symptoms may include depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, irritability, mood swings, loss of focus, and in some cases, nightmares. Many times, an addict will use their withdrawal symptoms to get better and tell their loved ones that it is the only way to help them because that is the only way they know how to stop the withdrawal.
The intense cravings caused by withdrawal can make the addict feel that they cannot endure it, that it is too difficult or with those who are depressed, too miserable. A good way to curb this would be to make withdrawal sound like a positive process and indeed, there are many advantages to becoming sober.
By explaining the positive effects of what withdrawal will lead to, it can give the loved one enough hope to go seek help and may make a lot of progress toward convincing them to become clean.
Fear of the Unknown
Even if the addict has tried other treatments, they may be afraid to go to rehab because of their previous failures with more mild solutions. The drug or substance by itself makes an individual feel as though they are not worth helping or cannot be helped, which can also cause guilt over the failure.
In most cases, the addict can also feel guilt over the money that was spent on drugs instead of for more important things, such as children or an education. This type of guilt could deter the addict from trying to be sober because it would mean asking their loved ones to help him or her pay for their rehab.
A good way to combat this would be to remind the loved ones that the person they used to be could be who they will be with the right treatments and programs. This could help him or her to feel relief in knowing that he or she can still become sober, which is what most addicts truly want.
When the individual became addicted, it is almost certainly not because they wanted to become an addict, so there must be a part of him or her that wants to be sober.
If You Fail the First Time…
When a drug addict relapses and falls back into their addiction, it can cause their confidence in themselves to suffer and give them the belief that they are not able to get sober.
Not only that, but it can cause feelings of self-hatred and guilt because the individual failed after their first attempt at being sober not only for themselves but for their loved ones as well. They do not take into consideration that the rehab was not a good fit for their unique situation or they may not have practiced the coping methods taught by the rehabilitation centers.
According to the NIDA, it is normal to experience a relapse due to the chronic nature of the addiction, which can make a relapse not only possible but also likely. Without the proper practice or coping methods taught in most rehab centers, the individual may not know how to react if they face a relapse or they will not have the outpatient services that could help them along as they learn to live without their drug or substance.
A good way to handle this type of situation is similar to that of an addict who has never been to rehab before. The loved ones of the addict can convince the individual that the person they want to be is just on the other side of the help they need to be sober.
It would be a good idea to talk to the person when he or she is sober and can think clearer and more rationally.
Bring in the Professionals
If an individual has tried the above techniques but their loved one is still reluctant to get clean, it may be a good time to hire an interventionist. Most of these professionals are hired through rehab centers and know what it is like to be an addict. Interventionists can talk to the addict about the process, the achievements, and the advantages to living a sober life so that he or she can know what lies ahead if they should decide to become sober.
Similarly, the interventionist will also explain the consequences if they do not get clean. This can give the addict a clearer perspective and lay out the options and consequences or advantages to each decision.
Watching a loved one struggle with their addiction and refuse to get sober can be one of the hardest things any individual will experience, but there are ways to reach and help them. If the loved one were afraid of the withdrawal symptoms, it would be a good idea to explain it from a positive perspective.
Regardless of whether the addict has gone to rehab before or not, a good tactic to use could be to remind them that who they want to be is just on the other side of sobriety. If all else fails, an interventionist may be the best option to tell him or her where their choices will result.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction and needs help, call 800-681-7369Who Answers? to speak with a caring specialist that can assist you.