Avoiding Rehab: Why Men and Women Refuse Help

People arguing
“My loved one is homeless, underweight, unemployed,
and on the brink of losing his sanity and his freedom.
Every time I offer him help he turns me down.
He has a new excuse for every day of the week!”

“My loved one is homeless, underweight unemployed and on the brink of losing not only his sanity but his freedom as well if he does not get help soon. Every time I offer him help he turns me down and has a new excuse for every day of the week!” Unfortunately, this is the case for far too many husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. They are watching someone they love, someone they would sacrifice their life for slowly kill themselves and they feel powerless to help.

A person walking down the street trips and breaks their arm. I am willing to bet that 99.9% of men and women would go to a doctor and receive treatment immediately after they are injured. If you are sick or hurt you go and get help. This is a lesson that most of us are taught from a very early age. Why then do addicts refuse help?

The answer is far less complicated then one might believe. The simple answer is that the thing that is killing them is also the very thing they love most in the world. Make no mistake addicts are not entirely crazy, a line of cocaine or a bowl of meth will make your average person feel invincible and ready to take on the world. People don’t take drugs to kill themselves, become a criminal or toss away all of their values. People take drugs because drugs “work” and that is a fact.

You’re depressed, drink a fifth of whiskey or inject a syringe of heroin and I guarantee the feelings of depression will subside. You may not feel anything at all but those negative feelings you are experiencing will go away. Now before you criticize me or say that I am glorifying or promoting drug use please allow me to make something very clear. Drugs are evil and I strongly believe that our world’s current drug epidemic is a crisis sent straight from hell. However, with all of that being said I also don’t believe in ignorance. I believe that it is vital that you the reader, myself and the rest of the public all truly understand as best we can the nature of drug addiction and why people use them.

Now, with all that being said it may be easier to understand why your son, your daughter or your husband is refusing to go to treatment. When they say “I can’t go to rehab today because I have to much to do at home” or “ I can’t go see my doctor mom I have plans with my friends today, maybe next week” what they are really truly saying is “ I am scared, I am anxious and I don’t know if I want to quit using now.” The reason I know this is very simple. If you were to take that same person and give them a terrible case of the flu I can almost guarantee you most of them won’t think twice about missing work or canceling on friends all they would want to do is get better. It’s just not culturally appropriate to say “Hey mom I don’t want to go to treatment today I just got my hands on some cash and am going to guy buy a few bags right now.”

If we can understand why our loved ones refuse care then maybe just maybe we can begin to take steps to help them despite themselves. If someone severely addicted to drugs and alcohol is truly sick or mentally ill then we cannot always expect them to make sound and rational pro-life decisions. Sometimes we must intervene and save them from themselves before time runs out and there is no one left to save.



Certified Addiction Counselor and staff member at Narconon Colorado