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Involuntary Rehab: Is It Possible to Get Someone Into Rehab?

Watching a friend or loved one struggle with addiction is awful. Substance abuse destroys health, relationships, and hope for a brighter future. When you see someone dealing with a substance use disorder, it can be hard to know what to do. You want to be kind and supportive and understanding to the people you care about. Will they get mad if you confront them about their addiction problems? Will they resist getting help? Those struggling with addiction can find it difficult to think straight when under the influence. That makes it challenging for them to recognize that they need help for an alcohol or drug addiction problem. So, can you make someone to go to involuntary rehab?

You might be wondering if you can force someone to go to rehab. For minors, the answer is yes. Anyone under 18 can be placed in involuntary rehab. For adults, involuntary rehab is only possible if a family member petitions that their loved one has threatened to harm someone or themselves because of their substance abuse. Involuntary commitment can be a positive in someone’s life, even if they don’t want to go.

When you’re wondering how to get someone into rehab, there are a lot of factors to consider. The first and most important thing is that every adult has the right to make their own decisions. Forcing someone into rehab, particularly when they don’t’ think they have a problem, may not work out like you planned.

Why Wouldn’t Someone Go to Rehab?

Addiction to drugs or alcohol is a powerful and overwhelming force that makes it difficult for some people to get the help they need. Its tempting to think that involuntary rehab is the answer. Why wouldn’t someone go to rehab if they’re suffering from addiction? Reasons include:

  • Stigma or shame associated with addiction
  • Feeling overwhelmed by addiction
  • Fear of failure
  • Lack of resources
  • Denial of how severe their addiction is
  • Lack of understanding about addiction treatment services

They Don’t Think They Have a Problem

It’s often said that the hardest part of recovery is admitting you have a problem. Casual drug and alcohol users may not see their use as problematic. Many think that since they’re still performing at work or maintaining good grades in school, their addiction isn’t getting in the way, and they can continue using. Why would they need alcohol or drug rehab?

But repeatedly using drugs and alcohol, even casually, carries the potential to alter how the brain works. Over time it requires higher amounts of the substances to feel the desired effect. Someone who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs may even feel withdrawal symptoms when they stop.

The long-term impact of substance use disorders is even more serious. Drug and alcohol abuse has been linked to many serious and deadly diseases like:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Hepatitis C
  • Respiratory issues
  • Liver ailments
  • Overdose
  • Death

Depending on the substance being abused, these consequences can vary greatly. Getting help from a professional addiction treatment center is the best thing someone can do when addiction is taking over their life. Rehab programs are based on evidence and overseen by people who can help.

They’re Afraid of Detoxing

Thanks to pop culture and the way our society works, a lot of people end up having wrong ideas about what it means to detox at addiction treatment centers. There’s a common image of someone going through heavy drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms alone during involuntary commitment. They’re in pain and discomfort with no one around to help. While withdrawal can be difficult, it’s not the solitary challenge Hollywood makes it out to be. At a certified addiction treatment facility, healthcare professionals are always on hand to ensure medical detox is completed safely, effectively, and as comfortably as possible. This makes it possible for the client to begin focusing on their sobriety.  

They Don’t Have the Time for Treatment

couple and doctor discussing how to find best inpatient drug rehab las vegas

Not having enough time to commit to recovery is another popular excuse for not getting help. Inpatient treatment is time-consuming. Someone spends a period of 30 to 45 days in a facility full time. But if inpatient doesn’t work for them, there are less-intensive options for recovery that afford them the ability to manage their normal life:

These are examples of treatment programs that allow someone to live at home, attend work, and go to school while still getting help for their addiction problem. There are even laws that prevent an employer from firing someone who is getting help for an issue like addiction.

They Can’t Afford It

Another excuse some use to avoid going to rehab is the cost. With the price of medical care rising, many assume addiction treatment is going to be the same. But there are options for how to pay for rehab that can make it affordable for everyone. In many cases addiction treatment at a rehabilitation facility like Vogue Recover Center is covered by insurance. Insurance plans and policies vary in their coverage. Some plans cover full treatment at an addiction treatment center. Other plans provide partial coverage.

Click here for a free insurance verification from Vogue Recovery Center.

They Feel They Can Do It on Their Own

Trying to get sober from drugs or alcohol on one’s own is almost always a bad plan. Someone with a real desire to get sober may think they’re capable of coping with withdrawal symptoms and learning the skills they need to get sober. But drugs and alcohol are powerful and cause physical dependency. That’s when quitting gets even more challenging. The body is used to having the substances and when it’s denied those substances, withdrawal symptoms start. Unless the underlying causes of substance abuse are treated, someone can never truly get better. Starting the process of recovery with medical detox overseen by medical professionals is the safest way. Then one can move to an addiction treatment program that’s right for them.

Co-occurring issues like mental health disorders can make recovery even more challenging. Addiction treatment professionals at rehab facilities are trained and experienced in helping people overcome the mental health barriers that can make substance abuse worse.

If Someone Won’t Get Treatment, Is Involuntary Rehab Possible?

If your loved one is refusing to go to alcohol or drug rehab program and they’re an adult, involuntary rehab is not possibly unless you are a family member and you petition that your loved one has threatened to harm someone or themselves because of their substance abuse. Help from treatment programs is the best thing for a substance abuser, but when they just won’t go, it can be hurtful and frustrating. In some cases, family and friends can turn into enablers as they make excuses for a person’s behavior. They may even aid the addiction problem through “help” like lending money, making sure they get to work or school after a night of using substances, or letting them abuse drugs in the shared home.

But there is still hope. An intervention plan is one way people attempt to help someone recover from addiction. An intervention is a structured discussion that is designed to help a person struggling with addiction confront their behaviors and make changes. During an intervention, family members, friends, and/or professionals work together to encourage the individual to seek addiction treatment and maintain sobriety. The goal of an intervention is for those involved to provide guidance, support, and accountability as the person struggles with addiction and enters recovery.

Interventions can be used for alcohol or drug addiction, or other compulsive behaviors like gambling or hoarding. A successful intervention requires thoughtful preparation and collaboration among those involved for it to be effective in helping someone toward addiction recovery. Sometimes it’s helpful to plan an intervention with a professional interventionist who has experience moderating the discussion. This can help the intervention go more smoothy. Instead of forcing involuntary rehab on your loved one, outline the reasons they should go. Then they can begin see the extent of their addiction problem.

It’s important to also take care of yourself when helping someone with an addiction problem. Many who watch a loved one fall into the trap of addiction can find their own mental health starts to suffer. A support group for loved ones with addiction can be a helpful way to learn more about getting someone recovery help. 

Finding Help from an Addiction Treatment Center

two members of a group therapy circle hugging at the best drug rehab

People have lots of questions when it comes to involuntary treatment. When you’re wondering how to get someone into rehab, the first thing to do is call an addiction treatment recovery facility like Vogue Recovery Center. Using evidence-based therapies, treatments, and other recovery resources, our team of substance abuse disorder counselors can help anyone make the decision to turn their life around and avoid serious harm. Waiting to go to rehab for addiction or behavioral health is only going to make drug and alcohol abuse more damaging to someone’s overall health and wellness. Programs like inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient treatment can save a person’s life. Call Vogue Recovery Center today and learn more about getting your loved one the help they need.


Evan Gove

Evan Gove

Evan Gove is a writing and editing professional with ten years of experience. He graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a degree in Writing & Rhetoric. When not writing, you can find him enjoying his sunny hometown of Delray Beach, Florida.
Evan Gove

Latest posts by Evan Gove (see all)

Published by Evan Gove

Evan Gove is a writing and editing professional with ten years of experience. He graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a degree in Writing & Rhetoric. When not writing, you can find him enjoying his sunny hometown of Delray Beach, Florida.

Medically Reviewed by Kelsey Jones, MS, LPC