An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Should family cut off someone if they won't go to rehab?

Discussion in 'Questions About Treatment' started by Bamber8810, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Bamber8810

    Bamber8810 Member

    Should you the only people you trust and love be cut you off from support if you refuse to get help. Would't this just drive them further into a dark pit. I understand you would be enabling them if they don't get help but I couldn't just cut this person off and force them to live in the street. I though love was unc0nditional.
    rabst likes this.
  2. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    Hi Bamber8810, correct me if I'm wrong but welcome to the forum.

    I believe that love is unconditional but love can become part of a situation that creates conditions. The love remains unconditional if you still love the person. Love doesn't put someone out on the street the conditions of the situation does or ultimatums. The love doesn't change unless it is no longer there.

    Ultimatums are placed when the situation can no longer be tolerated and a choice is given to decide to adhere to the approved conditions or not. If not, then go somewhere that will accept what is not approved and live to your life the way you want to your heart's content.
    blur92 likes this.
  3. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    This is a tough decision for the family of an addict to make. You will see on documentaries such as Intervention that this is part of the step during the actual intervention itself. The therapist tells family members they can no longer offer support, whether financial or anything else, if the addict refuses to go to a treatment center. As rough as this may seem, I think it is appropriate. The addict needs to understand the pain they have caused to their family, and they need further motivation to go.
  4. rabst

    rabst Active Contributor

    I think of The Prodigal Son. The Father gave the returning Son a huge party & full reinstatement into the family-business, but not until the Son was on his way back into the farm (you recall, the Son had 'withdrawn his full inheritance'--fully-convinced he could take it & 'rule his own kingdom' in a far-away land--and had squandered it all on dirty living---only deciding to come back after realizing that life outsidc the family-business was worse than slavery).

    'Continuing to supply room-&-board to a still-addicted addict' is like 'if The Father had let the Son move out & continue his squandering-ways, sending squander-fuel out to him.'

    Cutting them off SHOULD be a last-resort, but it's understandable.
  5. KNH

    KNH Active Contributor

    I think that's possibly one of the hardest decisions to ever make, but I feel sometimes it's the only way to get the addict to understand that their addiction is a serious problem that will ruin their life and kill them if they don't seek help. Sometimes things just get too out of hand and serious measures need to be taken, like cutting them off. MUCH easier said than done, of course.
  6. Kim1414

    Kim1414 Member

    Unfortunately tough love is sometimes the only thing that will help. My stepson and daughter-in-law are both addicted to prescription medications. They refuse to get help or listen to anything we have to say. We are only good for one thing and that is to supply money for the addiction. We have decided that we will no longer help them financially. We will talk to them on the phone, visit them and they can visit us however we will not give them any more money until they go to rehab and get jobs.
    Yearstrong likes this.
  7. ABC123

    ABC123 Member

    Prodigal son is a good example of how a decision should be based. It is tough love. It may not look like love to person being cut off but in the big picture it usually is for the best. They are so many stories of how people turn their lives around. The family will have to hope and possibly pray for the return of their relative in better state or a willing to change state.
  8. Johnderman

    Johnderman Member

    Discipline is discipline, and if that's what they need to come to their senses, often that's exactly what makes them turn around. The prodigal son illustration has nothing to do with this, he initiated leaving the family circle in the first place, on good terms, and it was his debauched life and how low he got that brought him to his senses and made him return. I have no idea why you mentioned it.
  9. rainbowguard

    rainbowguard Senior Contributor

    I would not cut off him out of his basic needs as it would ruin his mental state that will be disastrous to his recovery and even his future. I don't think it is enabling because you can do it in a way that doesn't encourage him to take those substances even more. For example, by providing just a home to live in, you are not enabling him because it is different from giving him money directly to buy those substances.
  10. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I think it would be extremely heartless and cruel to cut off a family member because he is not ready to accept any help for his addiction. The key to recovery is patience and compassion all around. Of course, sometimes drastic measures have to be taken, but threats and being cast out never has solved any problems in the long term. It only creates more tension and strong feelings of antipathy.
  11. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I actually find it mean for family members to do that. Going to rehab is the time the need you most. Rather than cutting off someone who is trying to pick up the broken pieces of his life, why not provide him with all-out support, instead? Shouldn't family be there through thick and thin? Family members who can easily cut off their own kin are not worth it.
  12. ABC123

    ABC123 Member

    Someone else mentioned it here on the forum and it made sense when I read their post. You are correct the son did make the choice to leave the family. His father did not ask him to go and relish in his choices. The father may not fully had known what the son was doing. However, I think the overall understanding is that the son did go fully into his way of life and he did come to his sense when he reached the bottom. In the end the father did accept him back. So in regard to a addicted member of the family who leaves the unit either by choice or not, the end result is what I was looking at . The hope that the member would either come to their senses and return or seek help. In both circumstances the family should be available and open to accepting the member back.
  13. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    I think it's easier said then done. I know when a person is fed up with another persons addiction they will say no more. Then it happens all over again. It seems this is a never ending cycle. There are those that indeed cut their loved ones off, however their are those that never do.
  14. E.Mil

    E.Mil Community Champion

    I think that when a family cuts someone off that nothing gets accomplished. When a person really wants to help someone, they have to understand that it might be challenging sometimes depending on the situation. If the person who needs help doesn't want it, I would keep trying, I just can't give up on someone I love and care about.
  15. Jennifer Hook

    Jennifer Hook Member

    I agree that cutting someone off does nothing to aid in getting them help in any form. We got my brother into rehab more than once and it never stuck. He finally did it on his own after his own life experiences were finally understood by him. Be good to yourself and don't let the addict make you unhealthy but be there for their fall they will need you.
  16. Kteabc

    Kteabc Member

    Yes! It may be hard for them but once they realize they have no other options and start to feel alone they will likely rethink treatment. The family is only enabling them by continuing to support their habit and lifestyle.
  17. wahmed

    wahmed Active Contributor

    I think this is really tough especially for parents. Seeing your chd hurting is hard but seeing them hurt themselves is harder. Mommy fact. I think the best thing would be to give them a warning. But if they don't listen then I think yrs this is the right way.
  18. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think it can sometimes work and it can sometimes backfire, just like anything else. I'm guessing it just depends on the situation and the individuals involved. Some people just need a drastic change to notice their situation, whereas for some it might prove to be more detrimental. Having a good understanding of psychology often helps in deciding which one would be the best course of action.
  19. lulu

    lulu Active Contributor

    I don't think so. I think when an addictive person is in need of rehab and people around see this they should stick with that person. They need encouragement and help through it. It's scary for them
  20. katherine25

    katherine25 Senior Contributor

    This is such a hard question to answer. When you love someone you don't want to see them get so bad that it ends up killing them but if they don't go to rehab and get help where do they end up? Its seems like a lose lose situation. I couldn't turn my back on a loved one but I couldn't sit by and let them get to the point where they would kill themselves.