Ways to Overcome Resistance to Recovery

Watching a loved one destroy their own life with alcohol or drugs is heartbreaking. And while the destruction caused by substance abuse is usually obvious to those close to an addict, the addict himself can be completely oblivious to what is going on. They will try to blame their problems in life on other people, or just bad luck. If friends and family try to convince them otherwise, they become defensive, even aggressive. An addict’s resistance to giving up substance abuse can lead loved ones to believe that they are a hopeless case, but this is seldom the case. There are always ways to overcome resistance to recovery. You cannot force an addict to choose recovery, but they can be encouraged to reach this point.

Why Resistance Happens

There are many reasons for resistance to recovery: denial, fear of change, fear of withdrawal symptoms, fear that recovery will be boring, low self-esteem, an unsuccessful previous recovery attempt, and more. Additionally, if an addict is highly-functioning – outwardly successful, respected by co-workers, friends and family – they may feel that they have far too much to lose by admitting to their problem.

The good news is that there is a lot that can be done to overcome an addict’s resistance to recovery. Below are some ways to help an addict realize that they have a problem and that entering rehab can help:

  • Suggest rehab at a time when the addict’s resistance is at its lowest, which is usually after they have messed up because of alcohol or drugs; the addict will be more receptive to the idea.
  • Ask a recovered addict to speak or spend time with the addicted individual. The desire to emulate this success can overcome any fear of change they may have.
  • Leave recovery books and other material in places where this person is likely to see them and read them.
  • Hold an intervention, where family and friends come together to confront the addict and demand that they get help. While the power of numbers can be effective, an assisted intervention with a specialist can be even more effective. Call White Sands Treatment Center 24 hours a day toll-free at (877) 855-3470 for help and guidance to plan an intervention that will have the greatest positive impact.
  • Have the addict speak to an experienced White Sands counselor who has experienced the detox process and withdrawal symptoms firsthand, and can reassure them about detox, what to expect, what medications are available to make the withdrawal process more comfortable, and so on. By learning more about withdrawal symptoms and how they can be medically-minimized, it can put the addict’s mind at ease.

Learning the truth about life in recovery can help the addict overcome their objections to it. They will not be expected to live a boring life or become a living saint – the truth is that a new joy awaits them in recovery that is greater than anything they have previously known. Call White Sands Treatment Center today and take that first step. We’ll be with you every step of the way to help ensure a lasting recovery.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.