How Can I Support Someone Who Refuses Recovery?

When a loved one or a child is struggling with addiction, we might do all of the right things to get them help. We might be taking them to appointments, getting them into treatment facilities, and supporting them the best that we can. Yet, they might continue to relapse, engage in risky behavior, or outright refuse treatment. We might not know what to do to support someone when they refuse recovery. When we have tried everything, what else can we do?

Will They Come Around to Getting Treatment?

Your child might eventually come around to getting treatment when they are ready. As much as we wish we could, we cannot force anyone to do anything, even if it’s for their benefit. Remember that addiction is a disease that causes your child or loved one to struggle. If they could simply stop, they most likely would. Recovery is a journey that might take a few tries before something finally “sticks.” Until then, we can continue to be available for them and offer unconditional support.

Research Addiction and Recovery

While your child is dealing with addiction, you can research addiction and recovery. You might want to look into treatment options or research the nature of the disease. When you have a better understanding of the struggle that your child is going through, you can be better prepared to help them when they are ready. Treatment programs—like Fire Mountain of Estes Park, Colorado—are available as a resource for parents reaching for guidance. Co-founder Aaron Huey also hosts a podcast Beyond Risk and Back for parents to use as a resource.

Researching addiction can also help us come to terms with the struggle and pain. As parents, we feel heartbroken when we see our kids struggling. We might blame ourselves or feel guilty. We might question whether the addiction is our fault, asking ourselves if we are bad parents. Remember that addiction is no one’s fault; it’s not your fault, and it’s not your child’s fault. By researching the topic, you can gain a more thorough understanding of the nature of addiction. You might find some peace of mind and other tips by gaining knowledge about addiction recovery.

Keeping Yourself Grounded and Healthy

As your child suffers from addiction, are you keeping yourself healthy and grounded? Are you getting help or therapy to manage your own feelings about this situation? Have you reached out for support? 

When dealing with a stressful situation, we might lose sight of our own health and wellness. We might forgo our needs, as we are so preoccupied and worried about our child. When a family member is struggling, some people feel like taking care of themselves is selfish. They believe that they need to put all of their energy and care into their loved one’s issues. We can only help others as much as we help and care for ourselves. Be sure to recharge and be strong for yourself. Your child will need a healthy and stable support system for recovery.

Find Support and Help 

Be honest and vulnerable about the issues going on; holding in secrets can lead to more pain and suffering. Recovery Coach Robin Styer discusses this with Aaron Huey as she talks about her daughter’s addiction. She believes that we should not hold back and keep our loved one’s addiction a secret. When we are speaking with friends, we can share the pain that we are feeling. By opening up and being vulnerable, we are not keeping the pain of our family secret to ourselves. We can also seek support through programs, like AA and other groups for family members of those with an addiction.

Remember Your Parenting Partner and Family

While managing the behaviors of a child or teen with an addiction, we might be overwhelmed with “putting out fires” that our other familial relationships are not getting our full attention. Take time to focus on your parenting partner and your other children. Your troubled child’s siblings are likely feeling the tension and stress in the household. They need your focus and attention during the current family crisis just as much as your child who is struggling with addiction.

The Power of Unconditional Love

While you might feel angry or disappointed in your child or feel that “tough love” is the best means of changing their behavior, unconditional love can be transformational. During this difficult time, your child needs to know that you love them no matter what. Remember to separate your child from the disease; they would most likely stop using or abusing drugs and alcohol if they could. Learn to love your child for who they are and help them heal from their disease.

Not everyone is ready for recovery. When you have a loved one in your life dealing with addiction, you might be overwhelmed trying to get them into treatment if they refuse. This can be especially challenging for parents of troubled youth and teens. When a loved one continues to use drugs or alcohol despite treatment and therapy, we might struggle to understand what is happening and how to help. We can research addiction to gain a better understanding of the disease. Remember to separate your child from the issue; if they could stop, they would. If you need more intensive intervention for your child, residential treatment might be the next right step. Fire Mountain Residential Treatment Center of Estes Park, Colorado, is here to help. Call us today at (303) 443-3343 and connect with our staff for additional support and guidance. We’re here to help your family’s fire burn brightest.

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