Can You Send a Person to Drug Rehab Against His or Her Will?

Can You Send a Person to Drug Rehab Against His or Her Will?

Addicts are often the last people to recognize that they need help. They will refuse to acknowledge their problem, downplay their loved one’s concerns, and deny the need for treatment. It is only natural for loved ones to questions whether or not they can send the addict to drug rehab without his or her consent.

When it comes to the legalities of sending an addict to rehab against his will, loved ones should research the laws of their own state. Some states permit family and friends to send an addict into treatment without consent, but there are many that don’t. Some states require specific conditions to be met, such as having a particular person petition for the addict to enter rehab. Other states may require numerous people to attest to the addict’s behavior, and other states may require certain proof that demonstrates the addict’s inability to make safe and healthy choices for himself. If an addict has attempted suicide, is a danger to themselves or others, or if has a mental health illness, he may be committed to drug rehab against his will.  In addition, minors under the age of 18 can also be admitted to rehab without consent.

Is It Effective to Force an Addict into Rehab?

The American Psychiatric Association released information from a study that showed that less than 10% of individuals with substance abuse disorders seek treatment, and the majority that do are motivated by outside intervention and coercive influences. Having loved ones make the push for an addict to get treatment is essential, but it doesn’t mean that the addict has to be forced into rehab. Friends and family can confront the addict or hold an intervention. They can address the issue and encourage the addict to enter rehab. Instead of forcing an addict into treatment, friends and family should try their best to have the addict make the decision to get help. The addict does not need to feel like he is being punished when sent to treatment, rather, that he has made the decision to find recovery for himself and his loved ones.

Forcing a person into rehab can make treatment less effective. Being held in rehab can make an addict resent treatment and think of it as a punishment rather than an opportunity for change. Addicts forced into rehab are less likely to engage and participate in treatment, and less likely to make any significant changes and transformations because they may be so angry and resentful. When addicts have the ability to make their own decisions about treatment, they are more likely to actively participate in rehab. So by confronting the addict and encouraging him to see the negative effects of his addiction, friends and family can hopefully persuade him to seek recovery.

Want to Help an Addict Enter Into Drug Rehab?

Addicts must want recovery for themselves. Forcing an addict to get sober may work in the short-term, but it will most likely not be enough to keep an addict clean long-term. If you want to learn how to help your loved one find treatment and recovery, call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline. Our recovery professionals are ready to assist you with your questions, concerns and needs.