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Reasons Your Loved One Is Refusing To Go To Rehab And How To Help

how to help someone who is refusing to go to rehab

There are few things more frustrating than dealing with an addicted loved one who not only keeps refusing to go to rehab but also continues causing problems that affect the entire family. You may feel angry, resentful, and defeated, but you are not alone. Denial and refusal are two common characteristics shared by nearly every person who struggles with addiction. Some people are in denial that their problem is as bad as it is and others simply refuse to admit they have a problem and that they need to accept help.

Regardless of your situation, trying to help a defiant addict is difficult. By understanding the reasons why your loved one may be refusing to go to rehab and learning how to address those reasons can help you convince them to go to treatment.

Reasons Why Addicts Refuse to go to Rehab

According to SAMHSA, only 10.8% of people who struggle with substance abuse get the help they need. There are many reasons for this, such as:

  • Financial barriers – Although rehab is affordable for anyone with insurance, many people are uninsured or underinsured due to the high cost of insurance, the loss of a job, or the inability to continue paying for one’s coverage.
  • Geographical barriers – While urban areas tend to have more resources for treatment, there is a serious lack of resources in rural communities. People in rural areas also have fewer public transportation options and a lower median household income than people in urban areas, making getting help even more difficult.
  • Pregnant Women and Women With Children – Many single women struggle to find treatment because many rehabs do not offer childcare. As a result, some women may have trouble going to their treatment sessions on a regular basis due to their responsibilities as a mother. Similarly, few programs offer care for pregnant women, so many pregnant women avoid seeking help.

These legitimate barriers to seeking addiction treatment stop thousands of people each year from getting the help they deserve. However, some addicts refuse to go to rehab for illegitimate reasons, such as:

  • Denial – Many people who struggle with addiction also struggle with denial. They may deny having a problem with drugs or alcohol and insist that they can “stop whenever they want” or “control” their substance use.
  • Fear – Getting sober is scary. Addicts must go through withdrawal and get vulnerable and honest in therapy. Fear of the unknown can prevent people from accepting help.
  • Shame – There is a stigma surrounding addiction that makes people who struggle with addiction feel ashamed of themselves. This shame and embarrassment can make a person feel as though they are not worthy of treatment.

How to Help Someone Who Keeps Refusing to Go to Rehab

Whether your loved one doesn’t believe they need to attend an addiction treatment program or has a million excuses to delay getting help, there are steps you can take to help your addicted loved one and help yourself.

  1. Accept what you can’t control – Just like your loved one can’t control his or her addiction, you can’t control it, either.
  2. Set healthy boundaries – One of the best things you can do when a loved one is refusing to go to rehab is to uphold healthy boundaries. Boundaries let your loved one know exactly which behaviors are unacceptable to you. They also protect your mental and emotional well-being.
  3. Don’t enable them – When you stop enabling your addicted loved one, they will have to experience the brunt of their actions and their consequences without you saving them. This can help addicts reach a point of despair that makes them accept treatment.
  4. Stage an intervention – If your loved one is still being defiant about getting help, you can consider staging an intervention. A drug and alcohol interventionist can help you confront your loved one in an effective way.
  5. Consider involuntary commitment – If an intervention fails, forcing your loved one to go to rehab may be your last resort. You can file for involuntary commitment to ask a judge to mandate your loved one to a drug and alcohol rehab facility.
  6. Find support for yourself – Addiction is a far-reaching disease that often affects everyone close to the addict. You can find support with a close group of friends, an Al-Anon meeting, or in counseling. If you can’t help yourself, you can’t help anyone else. Make sure you are taking care of yourself, getting support, and staying healthy,
help someone who is refusing to go to rehab

Get The Care You Need and Deserve

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

Find Help for an Addicted Loved One

Dealing with an addicted loved one who keeps refusing to go to rehab can be frustrating and tiresome. Here at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we can provide guidance and intervention support to help convince your loved one to get help. Don’t wait any longer. Call now to speak with an addiction specialist.


Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC
Clinical Director

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