Recent data shows that over 23 million Americans are suffering from an addiction. That's roughly 1 out of every 10 Americans over the age of 12 who are addicted to alcohol or an illicit drug. With the number of Americans suffering from addiction being so high, it's statistically likely that you currently have a friend or loved one who is an addict.
While we want to help our friend or family member with their addiction, acknowledging the need for help and accepting it can be a very difficult step for an addict to take. Drugs alter a person's brain and make them unable to see their own reality. They are able to justify their addiction and all of the destruction it causes. They also don't want to face a reality without the presence of the drug. When you encounter an addict who doesn't want your help, there are progressive steps you can take.
An addict will generally be unable to keep a job which means they have no income. This will also lead to homelessness. As a loved one of an addict, your responsibility is not to enable their behavior by giving them money for their drug habit or housing them while they come down from their high. You need to set boundaries with your loved ones.
Don't loan them money. Instead, give them food. Don't give them a place to stay. Offer to help them get into a shelter or a rehabilitation clinic. They must face the natural consequences of their actions in order to help snap them out of their addiction cycle.
Stage An Intervention
If setting limits with your loved one did not help put them realize the full consequences of their actions then staging an intervention can be your next step. This intervention can be a simple one-on-one conversation with your loved one where you speak candidly and precisely on how the addiction is affecting you and your relationship.
Sometimes, an addiction can be so out of control that an intervention must be staged with a group of friends or loved ones. The important thing to remember in this step is that you are all here for your loved one. The goal is to always help your loved one rise above their addiction, not to tear them down and make it worse. Bringing in a professional therapist can help with guiding the conversations.
Involuntary Rehab Court Order
If you've tried everything to save your loved one and they still have no interest in helping themselves, you can go to the courts and file an emergency order to place them into a rehabilitation clinic. This will require a screening by mental health and addiction professionals and a police officer. If the requirements are met, your loved one will be placed in a rehabilitation clinic involuntarily.
While you are going through this difficult and trying time, there are online resources at your disposal that offer more information on outpatient treatments, therapy services, and the treatments for different types of addictions. Utilize these resources to find the best option for you and your loved one.