How to Help Someone that Doesn’t Want Help

The road to recovery is hard and it can be just as difficult for the family as they join their loved one on that journey. Across the nation, families and friends are helping loved ones who struggle with addiction through something called intervention. Thursday, September 12, Fairbanks hosted a lunch and learn event at their Hendricks County location about how to help someone who doesn’t want help. The event featured 30-year interventionist, Bruce Perkins.

For Perkins, his career conducting interventions began soon after seeing his first intervention take place.

“I watched this guy reclaim his life and I’ve been doing this ever since,” Perkins said.

Perkins said initially there is a sense of fear that comes over the families, but the desire to help their loved one helps suppress that feeling and allows them to move forward.

“I ask the family, if we don’t do this where is this going,” Perkins said. “The worst that can happen is this continues, but the best that can happen is that we save a life.”

The intervention team is made up of individuals that have strong connections to the person with a substance abuse problem. Perkins stressed that no person on the team can be active in their own addiction and have to be trusted enough not to tell the person about their plans.

“We spend a whole day planning for the intervention. Then we’re doing it the next day and hopefully going straight to treatment,” Perkins said.

The intervention team shares letters of loving memories and admiration with the individual as well as changes they’ve noticed and concerns.

“We’re doing a lot more than trying to get people into treatment,” Perkins said. “We’re mending relationships.”

Hearing everyone voice their love and concern often creates new thoughts about addiction for the person struggling.

“The person begins to think that if they’re all saying the same thing, it must be bad. They must be seeing something that I’m not,” Perkins said.

The primary reason this process has been so successful is because of the overwhelming power of love that takes place.

“Their love is really being affirmed. They know that they are cared for and supported,” Perkins said. “That encouragement makes them look at their behavior in a way they haven’t before.”

If you are concerned about a loved one who is struggling with drugs or alcohol, intervention may be the answer. For more information about Bruce Perkins and your options, visit or call 765.759.7339.