Getting A Family Member To Admit He Needs Drug Counseling

Undeniably, it’s difficult for someone caught in a substance abuse addiction to grasp the reality of their circumstances. Some people hide behind the veil of denial while others simply choose to ignore the dangers associated with their actions. Of course, neither of those options is going to keep the individual safe from potential harm.

When someone is unwilling or unable to admit they have a problem, their fate often lies in the hands of loved ones. These are the folks who see what is going on and could possibly get access to the addict to tell them they have a problem and need help. Unfortunately, it’s rarely that easy a thing to do. The problem is most addicts will resist getting help until they themselves can admit they have a problem.

Still, loved ones have some responsibility to try to convince the addict to get some kind of help. The best case scenario would be to succeed at this endeavor without confrontation or the situation getting contentious. Again, things don’t usually go as smooth as one would want.

So how does someone get a friend or relative to admit they need addiction treatment? Below, we will examine some ways that a caring loved one can help someone see the proverbial light in time to get treatment before it’s too late. Before we get started, we want to briefly discuss the things a loved one shouldn’t do if they really want what’s best for their family member/friend. This list includes:

Ignore the Problem

This could tantamount with enabling the addict to use drugs or alcohol without taking responsibility for their actions. Ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away.

Be Angry

Anger is never a good way to convince someone that someone else cares about them. It’s an off-putting reaction that actually creates barriers to open communication and compromises trust.

Use Guilt

Addiction is an illness. The addict is truly unable to control their actions. While the addict was certainly responsible for abusing a substance in the first place, they are well past the point where they should be shamed about being sick.

Avoid Confrontation

It always best to be straight forward with someone who is headed down the wrong path. As long as confrontations are done based on factual evidence and with some level of compassion, it’s hard for the addict to deny what is taking place.

How to Convince a Loved One to Seek Addiction Treatment

Now that we know what not to do, let’s move forward and discuss the best ways to get an addicted loved one to admit they have a problem and need help. At all times, it’s important for the addict’s loved ones to be supportive. There’s no place for blaming and accusations. An addict is more apt to respond as desired if they are approached with something that resembles genuine care.

The four ways we want to discuss are interventions, discussions about unwanted consequences, enlisting the help of a recovering addict and introducing reality.


By far, this is the most popular way people choose to try to get loved ones into treatment. A good intervention is well-planned. It hopefully includes the people who are nearest and dearest to the subject. It would be a very good idea for everyone involved to read up and try to gain an understanding about addiction as a disease.

During the actual intervention, all parties need to explain how the subject’s addiction affects them and how much they wish their loved one would get help. At no time should the participants try to place blame or show undue emotions. All comments should be based on facts, showing a high level of objectivity.

If all parties can follow these simple guidelines, the subject will hopefully feel the genuine concern and react by at least admitting they should consider getting help.

Discussions About Unwanted Consequences

There is always a possibility the addict doesn’t clearly understand the dangers of their addiction. They may not have thought everything through. A one-on-one conversation about unwanted consequences could be exactly what the doctor ordered. As a point of reference, the following is a list of potential repercussions the addict could be warned about:

  • The substance’s side effects
  • The potential for lost relationships
  • Financial ramifications, including employment issues
  • Mental and physical health issues related to long-term drug abuse
  • The potential for an accidental overdose
  • Legal issues, including run ins with law enforcement

A dose of reality could be all it takes to jolt the addict into taking some positive form of action like seeking treatment.

Enlisting the Help of a Recovering Addict

Who knows better what an addict is going through than another addict? By arranging a meeting or get together with someone who has already been through an addiction and successfully recovered, it’s quite possible the addict will listen based on the fact both parties have something in common. The former addict should focus on the treatment process and how it brought them from the depths of despair to a life that’s worth living.

Introducing Reality

This option requires that someone get the addict to take a serious look at what they are doing to themselves and why. Sometimes, it might be effective to simply ask the addict why it is they don’t want help. That kind of a question could be the catalyst to getting the individual to stop for a moment and take a look at their own circumstances. The end goal is reality will set in, prompting the addict to admit they need help.

If you would like more information about how to get your loved one into treatment, we encourage you to call one of our professional counselors. Our number is (866) 840-6411. We are committed to do all we can to help you help the person you love enough to save.