Open Accessibility Menu
5 Steps to Convince Your Parent to Seek Addiction Treatment

5 Steps to Convince Your Parent to Seek Addiction Treatment

Silver Ridge Recovery

It can be difficult to convince your parent to seek addiction treatment, especially when they deny that their substance use is an issue. Older adults are more likely than younger people to be in denial about an alcohol problem, largely due to a combination of factors that include generation, gender, religion and culture.

Even if your parent acknowledges that a problem exists, they may be very reluctant to get help for it. Many aging adults are sensitive to the stigma attached to addiction and other mental illnesses and don’t want to be labeled an “alcoholic” or an “addict”. They also may lack transportation, support or adequate health insurance.

None of this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t try. The more you do try, and the more support your parent has from you, the more likely it is that they’ll get the help they need to recover.

Step 1: Educate Yourself

Addiction is a complex disease that changes brain structures and functions and affects thought patterns and behaviors. Before you can help your parent, it’s essential that you learn all you can about addiction, including its common underlying causes and how it’s diagnosed and treated. The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a helpful resource for accurate, up-to-date information about addiction, and it’s a good place to start.

Step 2: Talk to Your Parent

You’ve probably had the conversation before, but maybe it’s time to try again. Let your parent know that you’re worried. Point out specific examples of how the addiction is affecting you and others in the family. Tell them what you know about addiction, and reassure them it is considered a medical problem—and that treatment works.

Step 3: Talk to Your Parent’s Physician

If you can’t get through to your parent, consider a conversation with their doctor. Older adults are more likely to accept a doctor’s diagnosis of addiction rather than take your word for it. Unfortunately, aging adults are drastically under-diagnosed for addiction by the medical community for a variety of reasons. Consider discussing your concerns with the doctor ahead of your parent’s next appointment to ensure the right questions are asked.

However, be aware that because of the stigma older adults sometimes tend to place on mental illness and addiction, many will be reluctant to admit to symptoms. Symptoms could include certain thoughts, such as feelings of anxiety or depression, or behaviors, such as compulsive drinking, and these may be central to an accurate diagnosis.

Step 4: Consider an Intervention

An intervention is a surprise meeting between an addicted individual and their closest friends and family, who try to convince their loved one to get treatment for an addiction. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence notes that 90 percent of interventions facilitated by a professional are successful. Talk to an addiction counselor or other mental health professional about whether an intervention might be right for your family’s situation.

Step 5: Hold on to Hope

Whether your parent agrees to treatment or not, the road ahead probably won’t be easy. However, if you can help your parent enjoy long-term recovery, it will have been worth it. And if you can’t, you will know you tried. But don’t give up hope, which is the foundation of recovery. Hope is the belief that a better future is possible, and if you continue to believe your parent can get better, the more likely they are to recover.

Either way, counseling and support groups for family members of an addicted individual are important, whether or not that person is seeking treatment. Therapy and support not only help you address the indelible effects addiction has had on your life, but they also help you better support your parent. Understanding addiction and getting help for yourself increases the chances that you’ll eventually be able to convince your parent to seek addiction treatment.

Learn More About the Benefits of Therapy for Midlife Adults In Our Free Ebook

In this free resource, we discuss common therapy methods and the benefits of treatment for midlife adults. Download it by clicking on the image below.

Free eBook on the benefits of therapy for midlife adults



Focus, Healing, and Recovery

Life at Silver Ridge is purposely designed to provide the safest and most restorative healing environment on the East Coast. If you would like to learn more about Silver Ridge or begin addiction treatment today, please call (855) 945-7788 or fill out the form and one of our admissions staff will be in touch with you soon.

  • Please enter your First Name.
  • Please enter your Last Name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Sivermist
    Sivermist Sivermist

    Offering luxury residential treatment at a private residence in rural southwestern Pennsylvania.

  • REAL Recovery
    REAL Recovery REAL Recovery

    Providing high-quality, adventure-based and personalized care with four sober homes for men ages 18-28 in Asheville, North Carolina.

  • High Focus Centers
    High Focus Centers High Focus Centers

    The premier provider of structured outpatient behavioral health and addiction treatment programs in New Jersey.

  • Rehab After Work
    Rehab After Work Rehab After Work

    The leading provider of outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs in Pennsylvania.

  • Pyramid Healthcare Inc
    Pyramid Healthcare Inc Pyramid Healthcare Inc

    A premier provider of behavioral healthcare founded in 1999 offering a full continuum of recovery services for adults and teens at 24 locations in PA.

  • The light program
    The light program The light program

    Treating individuals in crisis or struggling to function through mental health Intensive Outpatient programs at locations in southeastern Pennsylvania.

  • Seeds of hope
    Seeds of hope Seeds of hope

    Providing specialized Intensive Outpatient eating disorder treatment for teens and adults in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

  • Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP
    Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP

    Providing comprehensive Employee Assistance Program services to employers nationwide.

  • Mazzitti & Sullivan
    Mazzitti & Sullivan Mazzitti & Sullivan

    Providing behavioral health services in central Pennsylvania since 1983, now operating five different locations.

  • Tapestry
    Tapestry Tapestry

    Tapestry Eating Disorder Treatment Centers

  • Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare
    Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare

    Serving the Atlanta, Georgia area adolescents and adults suffering from Mood Disorders.

  • October Road Inc
    October Road Inc October Road Inc

    Serving the Asheville, North Carolina area with high-quality mental health and substance abuse treatment since 2006.

  • Walden
    Walden Walden

    Offering treatment & support options in Southern Maryland for those struggling with addiction and mental health.