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He Doesn’t Think He Needs Any Treatment – I’m Fed Up!

Dad was feeling hopeful, with his son back home and not using for several months. But now his son has relapsed and Dad doesn’t know where to begin. He’s fed up with his adult son, who refuses to admit he needs treatment.
*This post originally appeared on our Member Site blog, where experts respond to members’ questions and concerns. To sign up for our special offer and benefit from the Allies in Recovery eLearning program, click here.

“I am not sure how to handle it anymore, nor am I aware of the best action and course to take. Please help and direct me to the right path. My adult son is married with a three year old daughter and is an alcoholic. Yet he has no medical insurance and thinks he does not need any medical treatment. He is out of his mind. I am not talking to him any more and have told him that I will no longer support or help him. I am sure there is a more suitable plan for handling such cases, but I am not aware of the right plan. Please help and guide us in our crisis. Thanks”

Dominique Simon-Levine reminds this dad that he is not alone and that he can create a plan to guide his son towards treatment

We have several family members on this site going through something similar. An adult son or daughter is holed up in your home, using drugs/alcohol and refusing treatment. Our member site maintains a blog in which we respond to members’ questions. Here you will find similar situations and the best way to react to them. In your case, I would first note the incredible effort your son has made to stay sober for three months after arriving at your home. It doesn’t sound like he left the house or received any treatment or support during these three months. So without much else to support his sobriety, he relapsed by hanging out with people outside the 7-11.

One has to actively prevent relapse

The default in someone with addiction is to use. Sitting at home with large patches of unstructured time is a time bomb. I hear how fed up you are. Your son is older, 38, and his addiction has probably been affecting you and his family for years. I would imagine your son loves his little daughter and that he is not thrilled with living with his parents and little hope on the horizon.

I suggest you look at an excerpt from Learning Module #4 on communication (full modules are available to our members) and script a request. Learning Module #8 will help you craft your request for treatment. You will  then need to decide what you are able to do, in terms of support, before drafting the request. Our suggestion would be “the daybed and locker” (view this recent post on this topic). This can be combined with several treatment options that include: Crisis stabilization service (several-week inpatient program paid for by the state if there is no insurance), daily peer support groups, (you’ll need to figure out his transport), and a good therapist.

Please don’t give up on your son—treatment remains the best answer

What we suggest on this site is proven to unblock the situation and help move your son to treatment. Your son is going to need your help detailing an action plan and providing support to carry it out.

Leaving Houston and staying sober for three months in your home strongly suggests that he knows he has a problem. It also looks like he is motivated to address it. Whether or not he “admits” to having a problem or needing help is beside the point.  These are not useful conversations to have with him.

Getting sober has its false starts

Our Learning Modules lay out the stance a family can take to create the best environment around a loved one. So take a deep breath, look at these modules, and recommit to addressing this illness in your family. There may well be support groups for you as the family member, in your area. Connecting with others that are going through this will empower you and lower your stress. Our best to you.

Learn Smart Love techniques through Allies in Recovery’s online program for families. Since 2003, Allies in Recovery has addressed substance abuse by providing a method for the family to change the conversation about addiction and guide their loved ones toward treatment. We use Community Reinforcement & Family Training (CRAFT), an approach proven to help the family unblock and advance the relationship towards sobriety and recovery. Learn about member benefits by following this link. Read what members are saying here.
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