If your child has been struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you know how difficult it is to watch them suffer. You’ve probably tried to convince your child to seek addiction treatment, but your efforts may not have been successful. Don’t give up; you still have a chance to help your child, even if the situation seems hopeless. In this article, we’ll look at a few strategies to convince your child to seek addiction treatment.

1. Research treatment options for your child

When you talk to your child about their addiction, it’s hard to keep the conversation from getting emotional. However, your child may respond better to a more fact-based approach. Just begging your child to get help isn’t enough—your child might not know how or where to get the help they need. Instead, try presenting some real options. Identify a few treatment programs that would be a good fit, and research what the payment options are and what’s covered under your family insurance plan. Coming to the conversation prepared with information makes it harder for your child to argue with your plan.

2. Hold an intervention—it may convince your child to seek addiction treatment

If your child refuses to get help even after you provide practical options, you may want to try holding an intervention. An intervention is a meeting where a person’s loved ones gather to confront the person about the consequences of their substance abuse and ask them to get help.1

While it’s possible to organize an intervention on your own, it can be more beneficial to work with an intervention professional or a licensed addiction counselor. During a typical intervention, the participants provide examples of how the person’s behavior has impacted their lives, and they offer the addicted person a prearranged treatment plan. Participants each outline a consequence if the person refuses to enter treatment, such as withholding financial support or cutting off contact. Interventions don’t always have a successful outcome, but there’s a good chance that this type of meeting will convince your child to seek addiction treatment.

3. Know when to walk away

As difficult as it may be, there’s a time when you may need to step away from your child and their situation. Having an addicted loved one can take a real toll on your physical and emotional health, and you won’t be able to help your child unless you also take care of yourself. Let your child know that you’re done trying to convince them, but you’ll be ready to help and support them in every way when they’re ready to take the first step.

Addiction places tremendous stress on every member of a family, and it’s described by treatment professionals as a “family disease.”2 Dealing with a child’s addiction is one of the most challenging things you can experience as a parent. Addiction isn’t a lack of willpower or a result of a poor moral character—it’s a disease that changes the brain. Love won’t be enough to heal your child, and rewards and bribes won’t get them into recovery. It’s important to take the right approach to convince your child to seek addiction treatment and to maintain hope no matter what, but it’s also important to know when you’ve done everything you can.


  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/in-depth/intervention/art-20047451
  2. https://www.ncadd.org/family-friends/there-is-help/family-disease