Can you force someone into Rehab?

Drug and alcohol addiction can be devastating to the person who is suffering from the disease. However, substance addiction not only affects the individual user but also affects the entire family unit. It is a family disease. As a loved one of an individual abusing drugs and alcohol, can you force someone into rehab? If they are losing more control over their addiction, unable to make rational decisions about their overall well-being and can potentially be harmful to others including themselves; is involuntarily committing an individual to substance abuse treatment an option to consider?

A group of four friends in which two females hug and embrace because the group is considering the decision to force someone into rehab.

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In what states can you force someone into rehab?

According to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL) currently, 37 states and Washington, D.C. have policies allowing the involuntary commitment of individuals into evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder or alcohol addiction. However, each state varies in its laws and policies regarding who can involuntarily commit a person suffering from substance abuse, what proof of evidence is needed in order to commit someone and how long addiction treatment should last.

Can you force someone into rehab?

When it comes to forcing someone into rehab for alcohol addiction, substance abuse or co-occurring mental health conditions, proof of evidence demonstrating the individual being committed is incapable of making decisions about their own health, is incapacitated by mind-altering substances such as drugs and alcohol, and can be physically harmful to themselves or others, needs to be provided. This can come from either a medical physician, chief medical officer of the treatment facility, or any other medical clinician. These civil commitment laws allow family members such as a spouse, guardian or relative, as well as friends, a health care practitioner or law enforcement to initiate involuntary commitment into an intensive treatment program. 

When you force someone into rehab, the time length of treatment will vary depending on each state, each individual behavioral health provider program and the severity of the addiction and the state of the committed individual. The majority of programs and the standard timeline of treatment usually lasts at least 90 days. According to the National Drug Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), persons who are forced into rehab should be receiving individualized treatments that target their substance use disorder as well as co-occurring mental health conditions. Various evidence-based therapeutic methods as well as medication management should all be taken into consideration when creating a well-rounded treatment plan for those who are suffering from substance addiction.

Reach out to Hotel California by the Sea

We specialize in treating addiction and other co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD. Our Admissions specialists are available to walk you through the best options for treating your addiction.

Despite more than half of the states having a policy allowing concerned parties to force someone into rehab, this law is underused and overlooked because many people are unaware of its existence and their options for substance use disorder treatments. Whether or not this practice is as effective or successful as someone who voluntarily seeks out substance abuse treatment remains to be seen. Involuntary commitment achieves the immediate goal of preventing an overdose, but long-term recovery research has shown mixed results for when you force someone into rehab compared to when someone seeks out treatment on their own accord.

At Hotel California by the Sea, individuals suffering from substance use disorders or co-occurring mental health conditions can receive exceptional, individualized treatment plans to target their specific needs. Treatment options ranging from detox, inpatient and outpatient facilities offer intensive therapies and medication management programs to address every aspect of a person’s addiction. Specializing in dual-diagnosis disorders, unique therapies such as CBT, DBT and EMDR are utilized to help patients get to the root causes of their addiction and heal them on a deeper emotional level. When considering the option to force someone into rehab, Hotel California by the Sea has strategically placed locations around the country ready to assist in the journey to healing and recovery.