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How can I help a family member who is not commited to overcoming their drug addiction without facilitating it ?

7 Answers
Last Updated: 01/25/2016 at 1:26am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Lisa Meighan, BSc Psychology (Honours)


Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.

Top Rated Answers
March 1st, 2015 6:51pm
This is a very tough dilemma to be in and there are no easy answers. If an addict refuses help, many times it takes a "hitting rock bottom" experience such as an arrest for them to realize the seriousness of their situation. Support them if they wish to get help, but i would suggest avoiding situations where you are enabling these behaviors. Establishing firm boundaries is perhaps a good place to start.
April 21st, 2015 10:14pm
From my own experience with an alcoholic mother, the only way I could help her was to let her help herself. I spent years trying to keep the family going (two younger siblings), throwing alcohol away, and confronting her about the situation. She couldn't admit to herself that she had a problem, and as a result couldn't admit it to anyone else or see the damage it was causing to us all. In the end, moving away was my siblings and I's last resort. From that her alcoholism did get worse, but then she went to rehab and is now over two years sober. I feel I've rambled a little now, but I believe the best way to help is to try to convey the extent of the damage it is causing for yourself and others in the family. My mum now always says that she needed to hit rock bottom - losing her children, her job, never being sober - to work her way back to the top. And that version of herself is always with her, reminding her to keep going and never again become that person.
May 21st, 2015 1:59pm
This is a very hard question because you certainly do not want to push them into further social isolation. It might be worth considering professional help yourself from a provider who has experience in helping those with drug addiction to discover ways to help and to have the information on hand if the addict changes their mind. It is also worth looking at the circumstances that might serve to make overcoming their drug addiction harder eg, a lack of social support, not knowing how to ask for help and close friends who are also addicts. Of course you can take practical measures too like providing food or paying rent (if you are responsible for doing so) instead of giving them money and perhaps consulting others who have overcome drug addiction themselves to see what it took for them to get to the turning point where they were willing to attempt to recover.
September 17th, 2015 5:49pm
I honestly do not know how to answer this question, I am dealing with the same situation right now. It is very sad to see them struggle with this.
October 27th, 2015 8:11pm
We can only encourage family members to get help for her or her addiction. We hold them to boundaries and allow them to experience natural consequences of behavior. Hopefully that will help them realize that they need help
December 22nd, 2015 8:36am
Stage an intervention. My mother was/is an addict unfortunately she couldn't contain the addiction and get control of it because of that she lost her kids. I'm going to be honest though if your family member does not think that they have a problem with addiction like my mother than its something that is out of your hands. An addict has to see that they have a problem and they have a want to change and beat the addiction. Because they are the ones that have all the power. An intervention might hit home and help the family member with the problem but without trying to facilitate and the addict not wanting to overcome it than that's all you basically have is to try and make the addict realize what could be lost because of their addiction. If it still doesn't face the addict I would try a facilitation even though it will probably fail to. Addict has to want help before they can recover. If you need someone to talk to about this or need advice I'm here.
January 25th, 2016 1:26am
Seek professional help for an intervention. It might be hard for the family member to see where they are going wrong as these chemicals can strip away rationality.