Can You Force Someone into Rehab?

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can you force someone into rehab

If you are concerned about a loved one’s addiction, learn if you can force someone into rehab.

It is truly heartbreaking to stand by and witness a loved one destroy their life with drugs or alcohol. It seems that no matter which tactic you use to try and convince them to get help, nothing resonates.

While it is always best for someone to enter rehab of their own volition, sometimes the decision must be made for them. This not only applies to underage minors, but to people of any age who are trapped in addiction. Thankfully, the majority of states do allow for involuntary commitment to a treatment program.

About Involuntary Commitment to Rehab

As drug overdose deaths keep ramping up, there is a growing sense of urgency to get people to help. In the U.S. there are 37 states with laws that permit involuntary commitment to addiction treatment. The laws are very strictly written, though, and each state has its own rules about forcing someone into rehab.

When you want to commit a loved one to rehab you must first make your case in court. There are certain things you must show proof of, as the process helps protect people’s rights. If the person doesn’t agree they need rehab, they have the right to an attorney.

To commit a person to rehab you must provide proof of these:

  • That the person has a diagnosed substance use disorder.
  • That they have attempted, threatened, or inflicted harm on themselves or others.
  • That the addiction is so severe that the person is not able to provide for their basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing.

Another route to take is through the drug courts. In many cases, especially in young adults, substance abuse leads to crime. The person may be arrested due to crimes related to their drug or alcohol abuse. These might include DUIs, petty theft, and violent crime. Court-ordered treatment will force the person into rehab.

Keep in mind that the courts do not pay for the person to go to rehab. They can approve the involuntary commitment but will expect whoever petitioned for it to pay the costs of treatment.

6 Signs it’s Time to Force Someone into Rehab

No one wants to take away a loved one’s personal liberties. However, when addiction is causing great harm to their health and wellbeing, getting them help should be a top priority. Here are some signs that it is time to force a loved one or family member into treatment:

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  1. They have had multiple arrests related to the addiction.
  2. They have attempted suicide due to the addiction.
  3. They have failing health due to the addiction.
  4. Their mental health is affected by the addiction.
  5. They cannot keep a job due to the addiction.
  6. They cannot control or stop substance use.

What About an Intervention?

Before forcing someone to enter rehab through the courts, why not first try an intervention? This can be a very effective strategy for helping to nudge the loved one into treatment.

An intervention is an encounter between the loved one and close family members and/or friends. The purpose of an intervention is to tell to the loved one how their substance use disorder is adversely affecting them. The goal is to share these feelings in a constructive way that motivates them to get help.

How Can You Support the Loved One in Recovery?

If your loved one does go into rehab, either by his or her own will or involuntarily, do plan to be a support for them. They have a long, difficult journey ahead and will need your love and support. Here are some ways you can be of help in their recovery:

  • While they are in treatment, do participate in any family days or family therapy sessions.
  • Remove substances from the home.
  • Don’t judge them. They are a person in recovery from a disease, so avoid hurling any judgmental words.
  • Encourage open conversation. Let them know you are there for them when they want to chat openly about their recovery process.
  • Set healthy boundaries and avoid codependent or enabling behaviors.
  • Offer emotional support and love, but don’t supply them with money.

What Can Someone be Forced into Rehab Expect While in Treatment?

Even though the loved one was forced to go into treatment, they will still gain a lot from the program. After detox and as they begin to feel better, they will become more engaged in their treatment process.

Addiction treatment entails a multi-modal system of therapies and techniques that can prompt positive life changes. Most of these are behavior-related therapies that guide the person toward changing their dysfunctional thought patterns.

In rehab, your loved one can expect to engage in these treatment elements:

  • Psychotherapy. CBT and DBT can assist your loved ones in changing how they respond to stressors or triggers. Also, therapy sessions help the person process any underlying issues that may be factored in the substance use disorder. Getting to the bottom of the underlying pain or struggle is key to making lasting changes.
  • Group sessions. Small peer group sessions are very helpful in treatment. These sessions boost a sense of belonging and social support.
  • Holistic actions. Because stress is a leading trigger for relapse, learning how to relax can be a great coping tool. These might include yoga, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness training, or massage.
  • Recovery meetings. Taking part in local recovery meetings such as A.A. is often included in the rehab programming. Alternatives like SMART Recovery are also provided as an option at many rehabs.

So, can you force someone into rehab? In the majority of states, with variations in the rules, yes you can. For many people, this might just save their life.

Bodhi Addiction Treatment Center Provides Comprehensive Rehab Services

Bodhi Addiction Treatment Center can offer your loved one safe and supportive space for conquering a substance use disorder. Bodhi is a rehab program that helps people overcome alcoholism and drug addiction. Our holistic program helps clients achieve both sobriety and mental wellness. For more details about the evidence-based program, please reach out today at (877) 328-1968.