How to Get Someone into Rehab

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Data shows that only one in ten people with addictions get the treatment they need, and with over 20 million people in the US diagnosed with substance use disorder, learning how to get someone into rehab is a useful skill to acquire.

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Today’s guide will show you how to connect your loved one with addiction treatment, even if they are initially not ready to commit to recovery.

How to Get Someone into Alcohol Rehab or Drug Rehab

Watching a loved one’s life disintegrate before your eyes is heart-rending, and this can be even tougher if you meet with denial when you broach their alcohol abuse or substance abuse. 

Determining when it’s time to step in and take action is not an easy decision to make, but you should prepare yourself for this. 

Unfortunately, addiction remains to some extent stigmatized, even while it is now recognized as a chronic and relapsing disease. 

Calling someone’s intake of substances into question will always be a sensitive issue, so it is vital to approach this subject very gently and supportively. Leave guilt and blame aside, focusing instead only on the issue at hand. 

If you find the idea of getting someone to go to rehab overwhelming, break it down into smaller chunks, as follows: 


      1. Start by discovering as much as possible about addiction

      1. Use what you have learned to establish the extent of your loved one’s addiction

      1. Stop enabling your loved one’s behaviors

      1. Encourage your loved one to get the treatment they need without applying guilt

      1. Seek outside help if required

    1) Start by discovering as much as possible about addiction

    Discovering how to get someone to go to rehab will be streamlined if you find out as much as you can about addiction and recovery. 

    Watching a loved one indiscriminately use alcohol or drugs despite obvious and mounting negative consequences can be frustrating. The better you understand the nature of addiction and the changes to the brain it brings about, the more easily you can accept that your loved one is not behaving this way through choice, even if they chose to start using substances in the first place. 

    Learn about the differences between inpatient rehab (best for severe addictions and co-occurring disorder) and outpatient treatment – proven just as effective as residential rehab for most mild and moderate addictions. 

    Find out about local 12-step support groups and other relevant recovery resources. 

    2) Use what you have learned to establish the extent of your loved one’s addiction

    You should now feel much more confident of establishing the scope and severity of your loved one’s addiction. 

    Getting someone into rehab might seem like an involved process and an uphill struggle, but you should be able to use what you have learned to determine whether your loved one is likely to need to pack their bags for rehab, or whether an outpatient treatment program would make better sense. 

    Now, since we can assume that your loved one is not yet engaging with treatment, it’s a good time to double down on stopping their substance abuse. One of the most effective ways you can do that is to stop enabling their behaviors in any way. 

    3) Stop enabling your loved one’s behaviors

    Even if getting your loved one into rehab still seems a distant prospect, you should immediately stop enabling their behavior in any way. 

    Stop covering up for their behavior, refuse to make excuses on their behalf, and stop providing any funds if these are being used for drink or drugs. 

    Be prepared to meet resistance if you have been enabling your loved one’s addiction and stay strong. You are killing them with kindness by allowing them to continue abusing substances once addiction has set in. Be consistent, as well, or your loved one is likely to try manipulating you emotionally. 

    4) Encourage your loved one to get the treatment they need without applying guilt

    When you address the issue of addiction treatment with your loved one, resist any temptation to lecture them. Don’t try to use guilt as leverage to get them the help they need either. This is not the right reason for someone to engage with addiction treatment. 

    If your loved one admits they have a problem and admits they need help, you can move forward by providing a robust argument for formal treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient, as the most fruitful route to recovery. 

    Depending on the severity of your loved one’s addiction, you may also need to consider medical detox. This usually occurs at a dedicated medical detox center, and FDA-approved medications can reduce the intensity of both cravings and withdrawal symptoms. 

    Make it clear that you are there to help them every step of the way, encouraging them without applying guilt, and without shaming them. 

    Now, we appreciate by no means every encounter with an addicted loved one will go that smoothly. You may try repeatedly to bring up the topic only to meet with a wall of denial, outright hostility, or both. If this happens, it’s time to look further afield. 

    5) Seek outside help if required

    You may need some outside help to determine how to get someone into drug rehab when they are resistant or dismissive. 

    Here are some immediate options to widen the net: 


        • Attend groups like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, both designed for the families of those in active addiction or recovery

        • Connect with friends or family in long-term recovery

        • Engage with a counselor or therapist for yourself

        • Contact some addiction treatment specialists

      How to get someone into rehab against their will is still possible, even if they point-black refuse to comply. 

      How to Get a Loved One to Go to Rehab Against Their Will

      Can you force someone into rehab?” may be a question that is on your mind. To get someone to go to rehab when they refuse to embrace the idea could start with an intervention. Along with other friends and family, you will confront your loved one – possibly with the help of a professional interventionist – with the aim of getting them into rehab. 

      In many states, California included, you could petition the court for involuntary commitment to addiction treatment so your loved one gets the help they need. This is not a seamless process and is by no means guaranteed, but it remains an option of last resort. 

      Drug and Alcohol Rehab at California Detox

      Choose from drug and alcohol addiction treatment at all levels of intensity at California Detox. We offer the following programs: 


          • Medical detox

          • OPs (outpatient programs)

          • PHPs (partial hospitalization programs)

          • IOPs (intensive outpatient programs)

          • Inpatient rehab (residential treatment)

        If you have a dual diagnosis – addiction and co-occurring mental health condition – we offer integrated and coordinated treatment of both conditions at our luxury Laguna Beach treatment facility. 

        All California Detox treatment programs utilize a personalized combination of evidence-based therapies and holistic interventions, including MAT (medication-assisted treatment), psychotherapy like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), and counseling. 

        For expert addiction treatment from medically supervised detox through inpatient or outpatient rehab, reach out to California Detox today at 844.427.6002.


        Before engaging with drug or alcohol rehab, you must first detox. Most people find that a supervised detoxification at a licensed medical detox center is the safest and most comfortable approach to drug or alcohol withdrawal. After an initial assessment, you will then be ready for inpatient or outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab involves a residential stay at a treatment facility of 30 to 90 days or more. With outpatient rehab, you’ll connect with similar services, returning home between therapy sessions. Regardless of the level of treatment intensity, most drug and alcohol rehab programs offer an evidence-based combination of MAT (medication-assisted treatment), counseling, and psychotherapy or talk therapy.
        Yes. In many states (including California), it is possible to petition the courts to involuntarily commit a loved one to rehab against their will.


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