What to Do If an Alcoholic Refuses Help

Those who are addicted often have a difficult time coming to terms with their condition—in many cases, they may even deny that they have a problem altogether. While loved ones want to help the addicted get better, it can feel impossible to do when the alcoholic won’t acknowledge the issue. Here, we’ll walk you through what to do if an alcoholic refuses help so you can get them closer to the road to recovery.

If you or your loved one need a safe space to recover from addiction, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn more about our short- and long-term recovery programs

Stop Enabling

The first step you should take—if you haven’t already—is to stop enabling the alcoholic. Although you likely mean well and want to protect your addicted love one, things like making excuses for their poor behavior, paying for their necessities, and taking over their responsibilities actually perpetuates their addiction.

Many times, alcoholics are finally able to grasp the severity of their situation when they no longer have someone to keep them afloat. While it may be difficult to do, it’s a necessary step in getting them to seek professional help.

Set Boundaries & Enforce Consequences

If the alcoholic in your life won’t seek help, it’s imperative to set boundaries for both their sake and your own. If you live with them, perhaps you define a curfew. If they break it, let them know that they need to seek alternative living arrangements. Or, perhaps tell the alcoholic that if they are late meeting you for dinner, you’ll no longer invite them.

Both scenarios will give you peace of mind knowing that the addict’s behavior won’t impede on your well-being. For the alcoholic, they may finally realize that there are serious consequences to their poor actions.

Positively & Consistently Encourage Them

Having a relationship with an alcoholic can feel like a double-edged sword. At times, it’s important to be stern with them by quitting enabling behaviors and setting boundaries, but you also want them to know that you do care and are here to support them healthily. When you see them, be sure to kindly ask if they’ve considered quitting drinking. Encourage them positively to seek professional help in a non-condescending manner. While it may be difficult to do, it’s important to point them in the right direction, as they likely require guidance.

Stage an Intervention

When all else has failed and the alcoholic is not getting better, it may be time to stage an intervention. Rather than doing this on your own, it could be wise to hire an interventionist to help you with the process. You don’t want to come off as attacking the addicted, and a professional can better lead and mediate the session.

Contact Myrtle Beach Recovery

We hope you better understand what to do if an alcoholic refuses help. When your loved one is ready, don’t hesitate to reach out to Myrtle Beach Recovery. We offer short-term and long-term recovery programs, providing a safe place to work through the 12 Steps.

Contact us today to find out how we can help.