What can you do if someone you know needs help but won’t get it?

If a friend or family member is struggling with addiction, but won't get help, is there anything you can do? Is it your responsibility to get them through treatment?

asked 21 Feb '12, 19:19

greenpea's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Drug addicts and alcoholics must realize that they have a problem and want to change. Without the proper mindset, mental rehabilitation is compromised and relapse is far more likely to occur. An addict who is forced to recover may subdue addiction in the short-run, but long-term stability is at serious risk.

(25 Feb '12, 11:53) Jack ♦


Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is often difficult to confront, both for those addicted and those surrounding an addict.


Addiction Treatment

The first step of addiction treatment is admitting you have a problem. It often takes an outside perspective for that to be realized by an addict.



Though alcohol is legal, it is a controlled substance and is addictive.


Alcohol Addiction

It is common for an alcohol addiction to go unnoticed.

I wouldn't say it's your "responsibility" to help. However, do take note that many addicts have not realized that they have a problem, and an outside perspective is often critical for any changes to be made. Start a line of communication; saying nothing will only prolong the habit.


answered 22 Feb '12, 13:07

aLtErEdSTATE's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

You can intervene! Intervention involves gathering together a group of people close to the addict who, under the guidance of a professional, confront the person with the ways in which his or her behavior is affecting them. They do not attack the addict, but rather make it plain that the behavior has an impact on others, and that they care for the person and want them in recovery for everyone’s sake. (It can be difficult to stay cool in such situations, which is another reason for the professional’s presence.) After the intervention, the addict often agrees to treatment, at which time he or she is immediately admitted by prearrangement.

If an alcoholic or other addict refuses help, then it is important that family and friends not assist them in any way that can make it easier for them to continue their behavior. This is known as enabling, and while it might seem like a kindness, it simply creates a situation where the addict has no reason to change. After all, we already know that they do not want to stop using their drug — or are not convinced that it is possible. If someone is paying their rent, paying for food, medical care, providing for a home and similar needs, what incentive is there for the person to make major changes? Things are going just fine, from their point of view.

This is a difficult position emotionally, but it is crucial. Withhold any assistance, while assuring the addict that they are still loved. As the addict’s life gets more difficult, it may be possible to affect an intervention or take legal action.


answered 22 Feb '12, 12:52

iKnew's gravatar image

accept rate: 4%

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Asked: 21 Feb '12, 19:19

Seen: 3,291 times

Last updated: 07 May '12, 15:54