Tips For Dealing With a Loved One Trying to Get Out of Going to Rehab

family arguing

One of the most frustrating things about dealing with a loved one that has an addiction is the denial that occurs. Many people will claim over and over that they do not have a problem with drugs even while their life is falling apart because of their drug use. The next most frustrating thing that occurs when dealing with a loved one that has an addiction is the constant stream of excuses for not receiving help. While there are certainly many legitimate reasons a person may not be able to get professional help for their addiction, there are also many reasonable solutions to these common excuses.

We have compiled a list of commonly used reasons an addict will give for trying to get out of going to treatment, along with solutions for family members to use to counteract these arguments.

I don’t want to spend the holidays in rehab:

Spending the holidays or having a loved one in rehab over the holidays can be disappointing, but it sure beats having someone drunk, high, or overdosing at home instead. Spending a few holidays in treatment in order to ensure you can be fully present for the rest of the holidays in your life is worth it, and most treatment facilities will allow family visitations.

I don’t want to miss (insert name here) ’s birthday:

Birthdays are similar to holidays due to the fact that they are usually important family functions. The best thing a person with an addiction can give themself or someone they love is their sobriety. What is one missed birthday due to being in treatment compared to a lifetime of missed birthdays due to being locked up or dead?

I can’t take that much time off from work:

This is a pretty common reason that someone may give, but thanks to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) laws, if a person has been at their job for at least 12 months and has worked a minimum of 1,250 hours, then they will most likely be entitled to up to 12 weeks of medical leave. Addiction rehabilitation is a qualifying condition for this benefit. If a person does not have FMLA benefits, then it would be worth looking into other options. Many jobs have Employee Assistance Programs available, and many employers will be supportive of a person’s decision to seek treatment. A person who has handled their addiction and is living a life of sobriety is a much more productive team member than a person who is in active addiction.

My spouse can’t have me away for that long:

Any addiction has the ability to destroy a marriage completely. While it can be difficult to be away from one’s spouse for a few months while going to treatment, it is better than allowing addiction to continue on. The very nature of addiction leads to broken trust, and for this reason, the longer an addiction continues, the more damage it will cause. The more damage that is caused, the harder it will be to repair it all. If a person wants to keep their marriage, then they need to address their addiction.

I can’t be away from my children for that long:

This is a very difficult one and understandably so. Most people do not want to leave their children for good reason. It is helpful to emphasize in this situation that a person will be a much better parent if they handle their addiction than if they don’t. The active addiction of a parent can have a lifelong negative impact on their child, so it is important to take care of the problem as soon as possible. In some cases, the addiction may be so severe that if something isn’t done to take care of the situation, then the parent runs the risk of having their children taken away. When looking at the situation logically, it becomes apparent that it would be better to be away for a few months in order to get one’s life back on track than it would be to continue in active addiction and run the risk of having one’s children taken away.

I need to stay at home to take care of my house and my pets:

See if a friend or relative can take care of any pets during the treatment process. Have someone check in on the house and clean it every once in a while if no one will be living there while the person is away. People can also work out a schedule to rotate on who takes care of what for how long.

person using phone

Life or death situation

When dealing with a loved one that is trying to get out of going to rehab, the most important thing to remember is that drug addiction is oftentimes a life or death situation. With all of the fentanyl being mixed into drugs right now, there is no better time for a person to get sober than the present. Stay assertive and know that you are doing what needs to be done to save your loved one’s life. If you are feeling overwhelmed and need advice, the best thing to do is to call an addiction professional for help. Stay tuned for more tips on dealing with this issue in the weeks to come. 

If you or someone you know needs help with drug or alcohol addiction, contact us at Narconon Colorado.



After overcoming her own addiction in 2012 Julie went on to become certified as an addiction counselor in order to help others achieve a life of recovery. She worked in the addiction field for 8 years and now uses both her personal and professional experiences with addiction as an influence for her writing.