What do we do if someone doesn't want to recover?



My younger sister is a long term heroine addict and has moved to a new state to live with my other sister. She was evicted from her apartment, which is the reason she moved. Unfortunately, my sister with the addiction had her boy friend send her drugs. She said she does not care if she dies. I don’t know how to tell our mother all of this.

I think the best thing would be for my sister to agree to give custody of her son to a relative and then go back to the state where she has a warrant and turn herself in.

My sister who was trying to help her now wants her to move out of her house. My sister with the addition has a 13 year old son who will be impacted by this. We don’t know what to do. She will not agree to treatment nor can she afford it. Another relative is willing to take temporary custody of her son. It’s all so complicated! If my sister moves back to the state she came from she will likely be arrested because there is a warrant for her arrest. Do you think we should have an intervention? What are the steps that should be taken first?

Intervention for my daughter

Hi @tlane3 - I’m glad you’re here. Addiction is so heartbreaking and confusing and complex, especially when there are children involved. My husband is a recovering heroin addict and we have a 5-year-old son. When it all comes down to it, the safety of my son is the most important thing, and we’ve talked about this. He’s an amazing father, and thankfully I have never felt like my son was in danger. But I do worry about how the addiction will affect him as he gets older.

I don’t have any experience with interventions, but there are posts in this community about interventions here and here that you might find helpful. This thread about getting a loved into treatment might also be helpful.

I think the most important thing when it comes to trying to encourage treatment is effective communication and managing expectations. I don’t think ultimatums work, and even if they are able to get someone into treatment, it probably won’t be as effective as if they chose to go themselves. Letting go of certain expectations of what recovery will look like is important. Rehab doesn’t always work for everyone, and it doesn’t fix everything. It’s a long, hard process for everyone involved, and it takes a lot of work from everyone, as well. The Village Playbook includes some strategies for communication, as well as other tools that can help through the process.

Please take care of yourself! The more you’re able to look inward and identify how your own reactions can help motivate change, the better you’ll be able to support your sister. And recovery is possible! I’ve seen it. Sending you lots of love.