Can You Force A Loved One Into Rehab?

Watching an addict you love refuse treatment can be devastating. Many times, family and friends of addicts wonder, can you force a loved one into rehab? In some cases, the addict is in denial of their problem, or they are just not willing to deal with the substance abuse problem and, therefore, will resist all efforts to get them into rehab.

In cases where the addict is a danger to themselves or their addiction threatens their life, but they are unwilling to go for treatment, there are certain situations where you can force an addicted loved one to go to rehab. However, you will need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. There are certain factors to consider, including the age of the addict and if the state that you live in allows forced treatment.

States That Allow Forced Rehab

If you have a child under 18 years, you can force them to get addiction treatment. Forced addiction treatment for minors is allowed in all states because they are considered a minor and the parent or legal guardian makes decisions for them. For addicted loved ones over the age of eighteen, 37 states in the US allow forced rehab. However, each state has a set number of factors that must be met and proven before the addicted loved one can be put into treatment.

It is essential to check if the state you are in allows for forced rehabilitation, and if it does, what are the guidelines to be followed. The guidelines tend to be guided by laws from the civil court. A family member can also petition for the right to commit their addicted loved one into treatment. This process will usually take two weeks. You may need legal counsel to be able to pursue involuntary commitment for your loved one successfully. The general guidelines will often be:

  • The family member has to prove that the addict has a substance abuse problem that requires a commitment to a treatment facility.
  • The family member must also prove that the addict is severely functionally impaired and cannot take care of their basic needs, and there is no one to help them do so
  • There must be proof that the addict is a danger to themselves or other people or has threatened to harm themselves or others.

Process of Getting An Addict Committed To Forced Rehab

If you can get through the process of forcing rehab for your addicted loved one, there is a process that you will follow. In most states that allow for forced recovery, the addict must stay in the facility for at the very least two weeks to get inpatient treatment. After the two weeks are up, the treatment professionals will advise if further inpatient care is needed and what kind of care they recommend. This care can be outpatient or intensive outpatient care.

When the patient is released to go home and get follow-up outpatient treatment, they must strictly comply with the treatment plan. If they do not comply, then they may be forced back into inpatient treatment care. The patient will go back to the facility where they were because they are in violation of a court order.

Advantages Vs Disadvantages Of Forced Rehab

The advantage of forced rehab is that your addicted loved one will get help. In many cases, addicts cannot see for themselves that they need help and getting treatment may save their lives.  Addiction is a disease that needs to be treated. Forcing them into therapy may be their only chance to get better. Studies show that addicts forced into rehab may eventually go into recovery because treatment equips them with behavioral therapy that gives them a better chance to battle the addiction.

One disadvantage of forced rehab is that the person may not get the help they need because they are not ready to stop abusing drugs or alcohol. The success rate of addicts that have been forced into treatment is significantly lower than those who have decided for themselves that they want to make a change. It increases their chances of a relapse. Another disadvantage is that it can damage your relationship with your loved one, sometimes irreparably.

When deciding to put an addicted loved one into forced rehab, you can contact our counselors and addiction experts to help guide you through the process. Call us at 833-497-3808.