If your child is struggling with addiction, it is hard to know where to turn. You may have engaged in conversations with your child about treatment and they rejected your pleas. If your child is refusing treatment, there are still options to help your child receive the care they need and provide them with the opportunity to achieve sobriety.
Can You Force Someone to go to Rehab?
If your child is under the age of 18, you can take them to rehab involuntarily. Once you child is 18 or older, however, it becomes a more difficult. Once they legally become an adult, you cannot force them to go into treatment without the following factors in place:
- You must prove that the person has an addiction to drugs or alcohol>
- There must also be proof that the person has threatened, attempted, or inflicted harm to themselves or others
- The addiction has become so severe that they are unable to provide basic needs for themselves (such as food, shelter, or clothing) and there is not another adult willing to do so
With these factors in place, you are able to pursue a court-ordered rehab or emergency hospitalization. Each state does have different qualifications, however, so it is important to get legal counsel before attempting these routes.
What States Can You Force Someone into Rehab?
Currently, there are 37 states, including California, that will allow you to force someone into rehab as long as they meet a specific set of requirements. These requirements fall in line with the same requirements of a court-ordered rehab above.
Depending on the state, a person can be detained anywhere from 48 hours to 15 days before a hearing is set to take place. In many states, an involuntary commitment of two weeks is instated and if the person is deemed able to care for themselves outside of the facility, they are released to outpatient treatment. Failure to comply with outpatient treatment can result in them being reinstated in an inpatient treatment program.
How to Get Someone to Go to Rehab
There are numerous options when considering how to get your child into rehab. Even if a person is not willing to accept help initially, there are ways to improve their receptiveness to treatment options. You can proceed with forced rehab options or an intervention to provide them with the opportunity to accept help themselves. Rehab is more effective when a person becomes willing to accept help and take active steps to achieve sobriety. Regardless of the method you choose, getting your child into a situation where they can assess their situation without the influence of drugs and alcohol is an important step to take in the recovery process.
Court-Ordered Drug Rehab
A court-ordered rehab is not the easiest path to take, but it is an option. This can be difficult for numerous reasons. Your child may feel betrayed or angry with you for turning them in which will be unavoidable. You must also seek legal counsel before pursuing this to ensure a court-ordered rehab is executed. Qualifications vary from state-to-state which makes it imperative to seek guidance beforehand.
- In most cases, a form will be filled out indicating the need for rehab
- This will then be submitted to a judge for review
- A hearing will be issued, and you must then plead your case
- Your child will also be given the opportunity to plead their case
- Once a decision is made, your child will then be transferred into custody to enter treatment
Emergency hospitalization may be an option if your child requires emergency care as a result of substance abuse. Emergency-ordered rehab is generally issued when a person experiences physical and/or mental health problems as a result of abuse. Treatment can begin immediately through the hospitalization before transitioning into a treatment facility.
Upon entering the hospital, your child will be evaluated by mental health and addiction specialists to assess their condition. In addition to receiving treatment, they will be taken into custody to undergo screenings and may be evaluated by a police officer as well.
- Much like court-ordered rehab, you will need to submit a form to a judge regarding why your child needs treatment
- A hearing will take place to assess the situation and determine the best course of action
Holding an intervention is also an option if the above options seem like too much to handle. The advantage of an intervention over the other options is that it opens the door for the conversation to take place with your child and gives them the opportunity to accept help rather than be forced into it.
You can hold an intervention yourself, but consulting with an interventionist can help make the process more manageable. By discussing your situation with a professional, recommendations can be made for who to include, what to say, and where to hold the intervention. From there, you can prepare for it by practicing ahead of time and preparing for any possible negative outcomes.
Typically with an intervention, an ultimatum must be issued. This generally falls under the trope of if treatment is refused, consequences will take place. This may mean no longer providing financial support, no longer allowing them to live with you, or other means of cutting off support that may enable continued use. While this can be difficult, it is essential in helping your child realize their need for help. Learn more about holding an intervention.
What’s the Best Course of Action if Your Child Refuses Rehab?
If your child refuses rehab and you have the opportunity to force them into treatment, it is recommended to proceed with that option. In many cases, a person with addiction will refuse help multiple times before accepting it (if at all) and it is not uncommon to struggle with this. Even if your child feels resentment or a sense of betrayal, receiving treatment for addiction is paramount.
Many experience concerns that forcing someone into rehab will result in it being less effective, but that is not the case. In fact, forced rehab can be an effective motivator in helping someone recognize their need for treatment. It may serve as a wake-up call and help invoke the change you seek.
It is possible, that rehab, whether it is voluntary or not, will not be successful and this is largely dependent on the individual. Helping a person achieve the clarity of mind free from the effects of mind and mood-altering substances can help them realize the need for treatment. Even if forced rehab is not successful, it puts them in a situation where they must consider their options and assess their situation, which is a vital first step.
Call Sober College When It’s Time to Take Action
If you are ready to pursue treatment options for your child, reach out to Sober College at 800.465.0142, send us a message, or learn more about our admissions process. We can work with you to assess your child’s needs and determine the best course of action. Sober College is also able to help with setting up transportation and helping your child get into treatment safely and quickly. Regardless of the path you pursue, we can provide guidance and help you improve the successfulness of your child’s transition into treatment.