What If The Addict Refuses Help?

By Adam Finley Read time: 2 minutes

Following an intervention, what happens if the addict refuses to get help?

In the rare situation, where a family member refuses help, they typically will change their minds and accept treatment within the next few days. This is contingent on the ability of the family intervention team to follow through on their limitations/boundaries, The disease narrative, based in denial, breaks down and the patient reaches out for help.

What happens next?

Immediately following a refusal, the interventionist will gather the family team together to discuss next steps. Family-Centered Services continues to support the family to help the patient accept help.

As part of our family recovery plan, we continue meeting weekly and sometimes bi-weekly if needed. The mobile illustration is often used to explain the lack of equilibrium in a family system when addiction is present. As one piece of the mobile is out of position it moves other pieces out of position. When a family member is struggling with addiction, the other members must change behaviors or “move” out of equilibrium to make space for the addicted person.

Working step by step through our recovery plan, families begin to learn where they end and where the addicted narrative begins. For instance, the Identified Patient or IP is unable to manage themselves and another family member steps in to pick up that slack. Learning how to set healthy limitations for the well being of each family member, forces the IP to begin carrying the stress that comes from substance use disorders.

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