Can I Send My Loved One To Rehab Involuntarily?

Sending A Loved One To Rehab Involuntarily

*Please note, Elevate Addiction Services does not provide involuntary rehab services, as this is not permitted in the state of California. We can, however, provide intervention services to assist your loved one.

Alcohol abuse is a fairly widespread issue for adults in the U.S. A 2015 national survey published by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism revealed that more than 15.1 million adults suffer from alcohol use disorder.

While alcohol abuse leads substance issues in the U.S., rates of abuse of other drugs are high as well. Unfortunately, not all individuals struggling with substance abuse issues are willing to seek professional treatment.

Many family members of those who are struggling with addiction may wonder if they can send their loved one to rehab involuntarily if the addicted individual will not agree to enroll in a rehab program.

Learn more about how to get court-ordered treatment for a loved one and understand involuntary addiction treatment laws below.

An Overview Of Alcohol And Drug Abuse And Involuntary Treatment

For those wondering if they can send their loved one to rehab involuntarily, it is far less complex to convince an addicted individual to enroll in rehab voluntarily.

In addition, the success of a rehab program strongly depends on the willingness of the addicted individual to embrace recovery.

However, there are various recovery program options for family members to seek out for a loved one suffering from addiction issues.

A family member can pursue legal action against a loved one struggling with alcohol or drug abuse. They can file a criminal complaint against the addicted individual that details how substance abuse contributed to a criminal act that the addicted person committed.

As such, they can plead with the court to force their loved one into a court-ordered rehab center. Another option is to call the authorities and request that a mental health examination be performed to determine whether the addicted individual is a threat to himself or others.

This would potentially involve the addicted person being held in custody and then transported to a rehab center. It can be an emotional process for all involved, and it is always preferable to get the addicted individual to consent to substance abuse treatment on their own.

Laws For Involuntary Addiction Treatment By State

Each state enacts its own involuntary addiction treatment laws, and where your loved one suffering from addiction issues lives affects which laws apply.

There are 37 states that allow parents to involuntarily commit their minor child for substance abuse treatment. Once a child turns 18, the criminal justice process must be used to force an addicted individual to enroll in a rehab program. Some state laws specifically apply to involuntary commitment for alcohol, drugs, or opioid use.

State laws typically limit the amount of time that an individual can be forced to spend in a treatment facility for inpatient rehab services. The addicted individual may also retain an attorney to fight back against court-ordered treatment.

Each state may set a limit on the amount of time that an addicted person may be held in confinement at an inpatient rehab center before having a hearing to be released from their confinement.

Staging An Intervention To Get A Loved One Into Rehab

A good alternative to seeking court-ordered involuntary treatment for a loved one who is suffering from alcohol abuse issues is staging a professionally led intervention.

The goal is to convey the love and support that family members have for the individual struggling with addiction so that they know their pleas to enroll in rehab are from a loving and helpful place. Hopefully, the individual suffering from alcohol or drug abuse issues then voluntarily enrolls in a recovery program.

Using a professional to assist with an intervention for an addicted loved one increases the odds of the intervention ending successfully.

It may also result in a more urgent admission to a rehab center than having to go through the process for court-ordered involuntary commitment.

Getting Court-Ordered Rehab For A Loved One

For those wondering how to get court-ordered treatment for a loved one, it is important to understand the consequences of this process.

The court may impose harsh punishments, including jail time, on an addicted person who fails to complete a court-ordered rehab program. This has dire consequences for the rest of their life and may further deter them from seeking professional help.

Before pursuing court-ordered addiction treatment for a loved one, it is vital to make sure that legal authorities are in consensus that a judge might consider that option.

Otherwise, the addicted individual may end up with a criminal record and related consequences without any component of substance abuse treatment.

Worse yet, the addicted individual may harbor hostility towards the family members who went through the court system to try to force involuntary commitment. Family members and loved ones seeking treatment involuntarily for a loved one must consider all factors.

Contact Elevate Addiction Services

If your loved one is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction and refuses to seek treatment on their own, contact Elevate Addiction Services today.

Our knowledgeable addiction treatment specialists will work with you to get your loved one the help that they need to overcome addiction today.

This page does not provide medical advice

Written by Elevate Addiction Services | ©2020 Elevate Addiction Services | All Rights Reserved

Medically Reviewed by

Scott Friend, MSW, M.S.

December 9, 2020

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