How To Get Someone Into Rehab: 7 Steps
It’s not easy to watch someone you love battle alcohol or drug addiction (also called substance use disorder). At times, you may feel completely helpless. You can fight this feeling by helping your loved one get treatment at an alcohol or drug rehab center. Here’s how.
1. Learn The Signs Of Addiction
Many people with addiction avoid alcohol/drug treatment due to shame or anxiety. Thus, when you try to help someone get treatment, they might deny that they even have a problem.
That’s why it’s important to understand the signs of drug addiction. Like other diseases, addiction can cause both physical and mental symptoms.
The most common physical symptoms of addiction include:
- decline in personal hygiene
- strange smells on the body, clothes, or breath
- sudden change in weight
- change in pupil size
- trouble walking
- slurred speech
The most common mental symptoms of addiction include:
- changes in eating and/or sleeping patterns
- mood swings
- loss of motivation
- loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
2. Ask How Your Loved One Feels About Rehab
If your loved one shows the above signs, ask how they would feel about spending time in an addiction treatment program. Point out specific behaviors that make you think they need treatment.
Avoid placing judgment or blame. Instead, remind your loved one that addiction is a disease and not a moral failing. When an addicted person feels supported and not shamed, they’re much more likely to seek professional help.
Also, if possible, talk to your loved one about why they started using drugs in the first place. Often, a substance abuse problem indicates another issue, such as stress, grief, or mental illness.
When you identify the underlying issues, you can help your loved one find better treatment. For example, people with addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses should attend dual diagnosis rehab programs, which address addiction alongside other mental health disorders.
3. Research Treatment Options
There are many different types of addiction treatment programs. It’s important to examine your options and choose a rehab facility that meets all of your loved one’s needs.
For instance, some facilities offer outpatient treatment, while others offer inpatient treatment.
Outpatient treatment is recommended for people with milder addictions and strong support systems at home, while inpatient treatment is recommended for people with moderate-to-severe addictions. Your loved one’s healthcare provider can help you determine which option is best.
You should also look for addiction treatment centers that offer evidence-based treatment services, such as:
- medical detox
- mental health counseling
- support groups
- family therapy
- aftercare planning
4. Contact An Addiction Specialist
Even after you research treatment options, you’ll probably have some unanswered questions. An addiction specialist can provide comprehensive answers tailored to your loved one’s needs.
Addiction specialists are medical professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat various types of addictions. They can help you better understand your loved one’s condition, choose the right treatment facility, and create a treatment plan that promotes long-term success.
The more you learn about your loved one’s disease and treatment options, the more effectively you can support them.
5. Stage An Intervention
If your loved one refuses to attend a rehab facility, you may want to stage an intervention. An intervention is a planned conversation in which an addicted person’s family members and friends explain why the person should seek treatment.
The conversation should highlight specific issues caused by your loved one’s drug use. It should also include a clear treatment plan along with the consequences that will occur if your loved one does not follow the treatment plan.
To make sure the intervention goes well, you may want to hire a professional interventionist. They can help you plan an effective conversation and manage any conflicts it causes.
6. Consider Involuntary Commitment
If your loved one still refuses treatment and poses a danger to themselves or others, they may require involuntary commitment.
Involuntary commitment laws vary from state to state. However, in most cases, you can involuntarily commit your loved one to rehab if you can prove that they have alcohol or drug addiction and that they may harm themselves or others if they don’t get treatment.
Similarly, if your loved one’s addiction has led them to commit a crime and you report it, they may receive court-ordered rehab. This type of involuntary treatment is considered an alternative to jail time.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), people who receive involuntary treatment are just as likely to achieve long-term recovery as people who enter treatment on their own.
7. Keep Trying
Once your loved one enters a treatment program, don’t expect the addiction recovery process to be easy. Many people drop out of treatment and relapse (start using drugs or alcohol again).
While this is frustrating, it doesn’t mean your loved one failed. It just means they need their treatment plan adjusted.
If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, please contact a Recovering Champions specialist. We provide a wide variety of substance abuse treatment options, including behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and family counseling.
Recovering Champions Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.