How to Get Someone Into Rehab: Guide for Family Members

8 Sections
4 min read
What you will learn:
Learn more about the signs of addiction and when you should seek help.
Find the best treatment program.
Understanding how to talk to a family member through an intervention.
Why call us?

It’s never easy to send a family member to rehab. Staging an intervention or asking a loved one to enter treatment means that the individual either is unaware of a substance abuse problem or aware but has so far declined or neglected to seek treatment.

The experience of admitting that you or a loved one has a problem is typically stressful and emotional, but with treatment, an addicted person is much more likely to be able to quit using their substance of choice or function normally in society. If you’re interested in figuring out what might be the best treatment option for your family member, continue reading.

American Addiction Centers offers addiction treatment to those suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions. Call

When Is Addiction Help Needed?

The first step of recovering from addiction is identifying it. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there were 23.5 million people in the United States age 12 or older who were considered to be in need of treatment for substance abuse issues in 2009. Addiction is considered to be a mental illness, and it can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, race, or financial situation.

Most people who become addicted to a substance will either be unaware or in denial of their problem. Addiction tends to happen gradually, starting with substance abuse, or in the case of legal prescription drugs, long-term use. Even those following dosage instructions perfectly can become addicted to habit forming medications, though it’s less likely. Regular substance use will often lead to a tolerance, meaning that more and more of the substance will need to be taken in order to get the same effect.

As time goes on, it becomes more and more likely that dependence will develop. For most drugs and for alcohol, addiction comes in both physical and psychological forms. Physical addiction involves the changes that take place in the user’s body and mind in order to accommodate the frequent presence of a foreign substance. This aspect of addiction results in withdrawal symptoms when the intake of the drugs is significantly reduced or stops altogether. These symptoms are generally very unpleasant – so much so that the prospect of withdrawal can deter someone from trying to get clean – and they can even be dangerous.

Psychological addiction is the emotional aspect of dependence. It involves psychological cravings and a general feeling that the drug is needed for the individual to get through the day. The lack or anticipated lack of access to the substance will cause emotional distress, such as anxiety and depression.

Ways to Get in Contact With Us

If you believe you or someone you love may be struggling with addiction, let us hear your story and help you determine a path to treatment.

There are a variety of confidential, free, and no obligation ways to get in contact with us to learn more about treatment.

Any of these signs can point to a substance abuse problem, but they don’t necessarily mean an addiction has occurred. Deciding to intervene in a person’s drug or alcohol use can be something of a judgment call and may require a second opinion from other loved ones or health professionals.

Luckily, there is a common procedure for confronting an addicted loved one and getting that person into a rehabilitation center. Addiction treatment centers will prepare for new arrivals in order to take them in as soon as they accept treatment. However, this means that anyone looking to send a reluctant family member to rehab will have to do some planning first.

How to Get Someone Into Rehab: The Admissions Process

If you are interested in attending rehab, the first thing you’ll want to do is either call that rehab center to obtain information about their program, understand your payment options, and gather other important information. You may contact the rehab center directly and inquire about benefits, which rehabs accept your insurance plan, and how the process of paying for rehab with insurance works. The rehab admissions process may vary by treatment center and whether or not you are attending inpatient or outpatient rehab, but typically rehab will begin with an intake assessment and a verification of benefits. Within your first few days of treatment, you’ll also probably meet with your providing physician, a psychiatrist, and a therapist so that these professionals can gather important information regarding your current state of physical and mental health.

Refer someone to treatment if you believe you or someone you know is struggling with addiction

Can I Force Someone Into Rehab Treatment?

In some cases, yes. For example, parents with children under the age of 18 who are suffering from substance abuse issues can commit their child into drug or alcohol rehabilitation.1 If someone is over the age of 18, however, things get a bit trickier. Sometimes people who face drug or alcohol-related criminal charges may have the choice to either attend treatment for their substance abuse issues or serve jail time. Another option for families is involuntary commitment laws, which vary from state to state.2 Most states with involuntary commitment laws require that the person in question of being committed must meet a certain number of criteria. Some of the criteria that could make someone eligible for being involuntarily committed, include:2

  • Being a threat to themselves or others.
  • Disability due to substance abuse issues.
  • The inability to make decisions.
  • The inability to fulfill their basic needs due to addiction.
  • Total loss of control.



How to Find the Right Rehab Program?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are over 14,500 specialized addiction treatment centers in the US alone.

Most of them deal with multiple types of substance addictions, offering services that can include:

The right treatment center for each individual varies based on the severity of the problem, which substance the person is addicted to, the individual’s or family’s financial situation, proximity to the home and transportation concerns, and many other factors. There are a number of directories that can be used to locate centers and addiction specialists nearby.

Most experts agree than residential addiction treatment is the most effective. This involves staying in a specialized facility for several weeks and participating in daily treatment programs, such as 12-Step meetings or other support group meetings and individual counseling. Individuals in these programs are not allowed to leave until the treatment period is complete and not allowed any substances other than those prescribed by a doctor. This eliminates the problem of temptation and allows for around-the-clock care for withdrawal symptoms and any psychological issues that arise.

When planning an intervention for an addicted loved one, this is typically the type of program that should be selected. The intervention is an intense process in which addicted persons will often agree to accept treatment, but they can change their minds once the emotions of the intervention pass. The most effective method is to contact and make arrangements with an inpatient facility treatment first so they are ready to take in the addicted person immediately after the intervention. This way, minds can’t be changed.

Find Rehab for Family Members Near Me

Communication & Family Therapy

There are many family-based approaches that those seeking help for their addiction may benefit from that encourage open communication and family unit healing. Addiction is often not just an individual disorder, but a disease that impacts the person’s entire family unit. Family Behavioral Therapy (FBT) aims to address substance abuse issues, co-occurring disorders, and many other issues that can impact a family and the development of addiction, such as abuse, neglect, and unemployment. FBT may involve the person suffering from addiction and one additional family member, like a partner, or in the case of adolescents, parents, caregivers, or siblings. FBT is tailored to fit your needs, teaches you about healthy communication styles to help the entire family unit overcome addiction among a myriad of other family-related challenges.

Intervention and Treatment

Many people have seen or heard of some version of an intervention. It’s often portrayed in the media in generally the same way each time, but each intervention is a very personalized experience. It typically involves any number of the addicted individual’s loved ones gathering together in a safe space to speak to the person about their feelings around the substance abuse problem. It does not need to be an ambush, and it does not always end in treatment. The addicted person may be angry and defensive, be in denial about the problem, or simply refuse help. Loved ones may end up caving or displaying enabling behaviors.

Often, the best course of action is to employ the help of an addiction specialist or representative from the addiction treatment center. There are also professional interventionists dedicated to helping the process run as smoothly as possible who act as a mediator if conflict arises. With this method, interventions have a high success rate of getting the addicted individual into a rehab center within 24 hours.

Doctor VisitIf treatment is accepted, the addicted person should be escorted immediately to the rehab facility. The individual will be screened for additional issues, such as physical illness and co-occurring mental illness, and checked into a room. Clients are allowed to bring clothes and some personal items, but no medications of any kind that are not approved by the facility’s medical staff are allowed. They’ll often be paired with a roommate and have regular interactions with other clients.

Family members are typically encouraged to visit to support the addicted person as well as to participate in educational and training sessions to learn more about addiction and how they can best support the client after the rehab program has been completed. It’s very important that individuals in recovery continue to receive support and care after rehab, as this process does not “cure” addiction. Temptations and cravings often pop up for years after, especially in times of stress. However, with the proper coping techniques as well as with love and support from those surrounding the individual, long-term recovery is absolutely possible.

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