Dual Diagnosis - Relationships in Recovery - Sobriety

How Do I Convince a Friend or Loved One They Need Treatment?

How Do I Convince a Friend or Loved One They Need Treatment?

Convincing a friend or loved one they need drug rehab isn’t easy. The Edge Treatment Center will make sure you have support during this critical time.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Dual Diagnosis

Relationships in Recovery


June 16, 2022

According to a 2022 study:

  • Substance use disorders (SUDs) affect over 20 million Americans over the age of 12

  • 9.5 million adults over 18 suffer from dual diagnosis: combined substance use and mental health disorder

Watching someone you love struggle with this disease is difficult, but there are treatment facilities that are here to help you and your loved one in any way possible. Convincing a friend or loved one that they need treatment for a substance use or mental health disorder is not something that should be done alone. 

5 Steps to Encourage Your Friend or Loved One

You can do several things to help get your friend or loved one into treatment. Some of these include the following: 

  • Seek professional advice: This first step is essential because talking to a doctor or a professional within the healthcare field can help you navigate this process in the best way possible. Having a non-biased professional on your side can help you get resources, educational tools, and treatment tips for your loved one.  

  • Have a conversation with your friend or loved one: After speaking with a doctor or professional, plan a time to sit down with the person you care about and discuss potential next steps. It is important to choose a time when they are sober and there is a lot of free time. This way no one feels rushed. During this conversation, you can give examples of harmful behaviors you've noticed from them without being accusatory. After the discussion, you can then ask them if they want to seek treatment. If they say they don't want to, you can try again. 

  • Plan an intervention: An intervention often includes friends, family, and an interventionist or an addiction professional. During this time, everyone talks to their friend or loved one about their substance use and why it is harmful to themselves and the people around them. Before the intervention, each person should decide what they are going to say, and there should be an entire treatment plan in place. The goal of an intervention is to get the individual to agree to treatment. 

  • Attend group or individual counseling: After the intervention, even if your friend or loved one decides they are not ready for treatment, you can encourage counseling

  • Set boundaries: During the intervention stage, it is crucial to set your boundaries and explain what you will no longer tolerate if they choose not to go to treatment. If your friend or loved one still decides not to go to treatment after all of the above steps have been taken, it is important to keep those boundaries in place for both you and the person you care about.  

What if They Decline Treatment? 

If you have attempted all of the steps above and your friend or loved one still does not want treatment, you have a few options, depending on the situation. The first option would be just to sit down and talk with your loved one and explain once again why you are scared for them.

t is essential to show empathy and understanding during this time. You can also go into detail about the benefits of drug and alcohol rehab and why getting treatment is the best option

In some cases, compelling a loved one to go into treatment is also an option. In many states, if you are the parent of a child under 18 who does not want to receive treatment, you can put them into a treatment program. 

Take Care of Yourself, Too

As important as it is to help your friend or loved one get the treatment they need, it is also essential to check in with yourself. Having to experience a loved one struggling with an addiction can be traumatizing and isolating to the family members and friends. There are a few different resources and steps you can follow to take care of yourself, including:

  • Prioritize self-care: Take some time out of your week to do something you love or that brings you peace. This could include exercising, reading a good book, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy.  

  • Join support groups: Speaking with others in peer-led support groups can help you identify with others, gain insight into the circumstances surrounding your loved one's addiction, and create a support network.

  • Stay educated on addiction: Keeping up to date on addiction studies and the latest treatments can help ease your anxiety about helping your loved one. 

You’re Not Alone at The Edge Treatment Center

At The Edge Treatment Center, we prioritize individuality and discovering what recovery means to each individual. At our treatment facility, we try and make this process not only life-changing but fun. We also understand some individuals may have other goals outside of treatment, which is why each client can choose their own schedule for treatment between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., so they can still work or go to school if they choose. 

Convincing a loved one or friend to enter treatment can be difficult. However, remember that you don't have to embark on this journey alone. We are here to make sure you have support in your treatment goals – for yourself or a loved one. Ultimately, we want to make this process easier for you. Don't hesitate to reach out -- contact The Edge Treatment Center today.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.