Can You Force Someone into Rehab?
When someone we love is in pain, we want to do everything in our power to help them. Untreated substance use disorder is a dangerous condition that can be fatal, so if they’re resistant to help, you may be asking whether you can force someone into a facility against their will.
Thirty-seven states currently allow some form of involuntary commitment for addiction treatment. The process and legalities vary from state to state, but it is not a simple process. You will need proof to show that a person has inflicted harm upon themselves or others or that they pose the risk of harming someone or themselves.
What Is an Intervention?
If you’re trying to convince a loved one to accept help, you may be considering an intervention. This is a planned process where the friends and family of someone struggling with a substance use disorder confront them in a controlled environment, with the end goal of convincing them to get help.
Interventions are a delicate process, so they should be carried out with a counselor or intervention professional (an interventionist).
A professional interventionist can guide the conversation and ensure that everyone remains calm and the session is as productive as possible. An intervention usually follows a set of steps that vary depending on which model is used.
Does Your Loved One Need Addiction Treatment?
The symptoms and signs of substance abuse vary from person to person but typically can include:
- Mood swings
- Inability to focus
- Memory problems
- Dishonest or secretive behavior
- Losing interest in hobbies or events
- Disrupted sleep
- Missing school, work, and other responsibilities
- Losing contact with friends or family
If you notice any of these signs in a loved one, they may be struggling with a substance use disorder. It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible, as quitting alone can be incredibly difficult and, in some cases, can be dangerous.
Is it Urgent?
Substance use disorder generally gets worse with time as tolerance and addiction increases. Even mild signs are worth paying attention to before they become more extreme. Some of the more serious symptoms and behaviors that could indicate a severe, life-threatening addiction include:
- Being unable to physically function without substances
- Physical health issues
- Driving while inebriated
- Intravenous use
While these signs can be frightening for both the person with a substance use disorder and their loved ones, it’s never too late to seek help.
Why Choose Our Rehab
At United Recovery Project, we tailor each of our rehab programs to the individual. Recovery is a highly personal process, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach, which is why we offer a range of treatments, including:
- 12-step support groups
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Behavioral therapies
- Holistic approach
Recover in a
What Are the Correct Steps?
Everyone is different, so there is no prescriptive way to encourage your loved one into a rehab program. However, there are some steps you can take when considering an intervention:
- Make a plan – Consult with a qualified professional and discuss the issues you will confront your loved one with and how not attending treatment could harm them.
- Gather a team – Plan who will be present for the intervention and decide whether your loved one will know about it or not.
- Plan what to say – Make some notes about what you will say to your loved one. Use I statements to focus on how their behavior affects you and express care and concern for their health. Avoid blaming or shaming them for their behavior – the best interventions are carried out with care.
- Hold the intervention – Meet with your loved one, remain calm, and take turns with your team expressing your concerns and invite them to accept the treatment that you offer.
Planning an intervention can be overwhelming; however, there are several tips that you can follow to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible:
- Educate yourself – ‘Addiction’ is a scary condition surrounded by many damaging myths, so taking the time to educate yourself about it will pay dividends. Once you have gathered enough information and resources, you will be able to make the most informed choice to best help your loved one.
- Contact a specialist – it is good practice to educate yourself about addiction, but reaching out to a professional can help clear up any contradictory information you encounter online. You may also consider using a professional interventionist to urge your loved one into rehab – professionals can guide the conversation and ensure it is productive and constructive.
- Stay positive – although people can be anxious about holding an intervention, try to remain positive, calm, and compassionate. Don’t get defensive if they react badly, and remember that you’re doing this because you care about them.
Why Forcing Someone Into Treatment Doesn’t Work
Some people question how effective rehab programs are when someone is involuntarily placed into them, but even people who go to rehab through choice sometimes don’t receive treatment well.
People may worry that someone pushed into rehab may not engage with the treatment, refuse to attend therapy sessions, or will immediately relapse after leaving the program. However, several studies suggest that those who have been ordered to rehab by the court or forced by concerned loved ones do just as well in treatment as those who are there voluntarily.
Can My Doctor Help?
Your loved one does not need a referral from their doctor to be admitted into a rehab program. You can contact your chosen rehab to begin treatment for your loved one at any time, though it is good practice to keep in contact with a primary care physician in case of any health problems or advice that may be required in the future.
Which Intervention Models Are Used in Addiction Treatment?
There are four models of intervention primarily used by professionals:
The Johnson Model
The Johnson Model is the most common form of intervention. Caregivers of the person struggling with a substance use disorder plan an oppositional meeting with the aid of a therapist or counselor. The intervention is kept a secret from the person of concern.
The ARISE Model
ARISE (A Relational Sequence for Engagement) interventions aim to both help people with substance use disorders and their families. During the intervention, each person’s emotional and mental needs are addressed. This model is different from other models as the person of concern is aware of it from the start. This creates trust and transparency and gives them time to process and understand the intervention.
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The RAAD Model
This intervention model uses positive psychology and active listening to encourage the person of concern to listen to the options ahead of them with an open mind. It is described as more of a persuasive process to convince the person to attend a rehab program and give them more control to make an educated decision.
The Systemic Family Model
The Systemic Family Model is another intervention model that aims to heal the whole family. It also does not keep the intervention a secret from the person of concern. It focuses primarily on educating the family to understand the role that they play in their loved one’s addiction.
Completing an Intervention & Long-Term Recovery
Hosting a successful intervention is the first step towards long-term recovery for your loved one. Once they have agreed to enter rehab, they will receive comprehensive detox treatment and therapy to treat the root causes of their addiction.
However, successful recovery is more than completing rehab. Rehab provides intensive care and medical detox, but maintenance will reduce the risk of relapse and help you maintain long-term sobriety. Some of these include:
- Outpatient treatment – Outpatient programs are a great way to transition from rehab while still maintaining regular therapy sessions. It allows people to attend school or work and keep up with commitments without living in an inpatient facility and slowly taper down their support needs.
- Support groups – Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are mutual-aid support groups that can help those in recovery to maintain abstinence through an altruistic spiritual program. They foster a sense of community among members and allow them to share experiences and healthy coping mechanisms.
- Aftercare – Outpatient treatment and support groups fall under the umbrella of aftercare. Aftercare can also mean receiving alumni support and having a dedicated case manager to assist with recovery.
The road to long-term recovery can seem overwhelming, but it’s always worthwhile, one day at a time. Accepting treatment is the first step your loved one will take to a healthy, happy future.