The Uncooperative Addict


What if the addict does not want help?

If you have someone in your life that suffers from an addiction, you probably have experienced a whole range of unfavorable situations resulting from their poor choices and bad behaviors. These kinds of experiences can wreak an emotional (and quite possibly financial) havoc on everyone involved. Probably the most frustrating thing about these kinds of events is that everyone recognizes that the person has a problem besides the addict. Everyone wants him/her “to get better”, except the addict. What do you do or say when the addict in your life is uncooperative? How can you convince him/her that they need help or make them do something they refuse to do? Here are a few general things to be aware of as you come to terms with the specifics of your situation and start to research the options you have:

Education beats denial.

Denial is probably the biggest component of not receiving treatment, for both the alcoholic/addict and the family. The only way to combat denial is to educate yourself on the nature of the disease and be open to seeing the situation for what it is really is versus rationalizing the person’s various behaviors. It’s easy to avoid doing this because awareness means facing some hard truths about the person you love; truths that are really painful and often, embarrassing. But, there really are no excuses or trauma that can make living with alcoholism or addiction be okay. There may have once been a reason why the addict in your life picked up the bottle or the needle, but spending energy to figure out that reason is like trying to hold water in paper—almost impossible and fleeting at best.

For those who understand they have a problem and are willing to seek treatment, the recovery process will be easier. However, an intervention may be a necessary step for those who are resisting their issues. Many families and friends have found that this is an effective step to aiding the person to recognize he/she has a problem and want to seek help.


Because of denial, lack of communication or simply not knowing how to talk about treatment with your loved one, an intervention probably is the best route. In an intervention, friends and families surround the addict usually in a situation that is a surprise to the addict. They openly speak to the addict about their unhappy or traumatic experiences with the addict and how it affected them when the addict is using. By focusing and discussing how the addict/alcoholic’s choices are destroying not only their own life, but those of others around them, the addict has a chance to make a choice to change. The choice is usually an ultimatum to enter a drug/alcohol rehab center or lose friendships and family ties. While you can not force someone to make the “right” choice, you can find peace in knowing you were able to do what you can for them to do so.

Get Support

It is vital to have support from family, trusted friends, and most importantly from a support group such as Al-Anon or Narcotics Anonymous. Even if you are introverted, in groups likes this, you can meet many others from all walks of life experiencing similar situations that you and your family are enduring. We know that when a loved one is using drugs or drinking their life away, it can seem like a selfish, drawn-out suicide. Watching this happen to someone you love who chooses this, can take a toll on you, but having support group can help you gain wisdom as well as detachment on how to move forward daily in your own life.

If you or a loved one has been dealing with an addiction of any nature or if you need help getting through to an addict, contact us today. We can provide you with quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait. Call now.