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How to Get Your Loved One into Treatment for Drugs Or Alcohol

a person comforts another after learning how to get someone into addiction treatment

If you’re watching a family member, dear friend, or close coworker lose sight of their future to an addiction, you may be struggling with a sense of hopelessness and despair. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to aid your loved one in finding help and getting treatment. One of the most priceless resources someone can have as they start the journey to recovery is a supportive network of caring individuals. If you’ve been wondering how to get someone into addiction treatment, your first step is to be supportive.

Woodland Recovery Center offers a continuum of care for patients in Southaven, Mississippi. From detox through an evening intensive outpatient program (IOP), we help individuals overcome addiction and build foundations for a better future. Learn more about our programs and addiction resources by calling 662.222.2989 today.

How to Get Someone into Addiction Treatment

There are a few basic steps to take when you’re trying to help a loved one find the support they need.

Be Supportive

Your loved one, friend, or coworker likely feels isolated and scared due to their addiction. They may be ashamed of their actions and embarrassed to ask for help. When you support them, you help them understand that asking for help is okay and that you are there to provide it.

Understand Different Treatment Options

There are a few levels of care that provide varying types of support during early recovery. Some of the most common include:

  • Detox – Medical detox is a crucial step in the recovery process that helps individuals safely withdraw from drugs and alcohol while minimizing the risk of complications.
  • Residential treatment – Residential treatment offers a safe environment that keeps individuals away from their drug of choice. During this time, they have access to around-the-clock care and support to help them work through cravings and learn new coping skills for life after rehab.
  • Intensive outpatient programs – Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) provide a level of care that falls between residential treatment and traditional outpatient therapy. IOPs often meet several times per week for 3 to 5 hours at a time, allowing individuals to continue their recovery journey in the comfort of their own homes while they attend work or school.

The severity of substance abuse, any co-occurring mental health conditions, and living circumstances will all influence how to get someone into addiction treatment at the appropriate level.

Make Financial Plans

Just as your loved one varies from someone else with an addiction, so should their treatment be individualized to address their specific emotional, physical, and mental health needs. Treatment can be expensive, so it’s important to consider financial standings and insurance availability against the treatment cost. Some programs may offer scholarships, grants, or financing options. There may be family members in your loved one’s life who would be willing to pitch in to make this treatment needs a reality.

Find Support Groups

A support group within your community, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, may provide your loved one with a venue to confront their addiction. These groups will offer your loved one access to individuals who have a perspective that is likely widely different than yours—those who understand what it is like to live a life in recovery. A supportive, relatable community can be a very positive influence that may become a catalyst toward treatment that helps encourage both healing and acceptance.

Listen to Your Loved One

When you’re speaking to your loved one, it can be helpful if you have a shared dialogue—don’t let the conversation become one-sided, and especially don’t lecture them. It is important that you share your concerns with them—providing them with an opportunity to see and understand the impact their addiction has on those around them may be a much-needed wake-up call. However, don’t berate them. Being too negative can cause them to become immersed in guilt and shut down. Strive to be compassionate and supportive while allowing them time to talk and express their own worries and hopes.

Can You Force an Adult to Enter Rehab?

Addiction changes the way a person sees themselves and the world around them. The very way they think, perceive, rationalize, and judge can be drastically altered by changes to their neurochemistry due to a substance’s effects. Because of this, an addicted individual may be in denial and fail to see the harm they’re causing. Continuing to seek and use drugs or alcohol may overrule the presence or context of damage within their life.

The ability to enroll a person 18 or older in a program without their informed consent (a civil commitment) is one that varies from state to state. Medscape quotes one study’s lead author, Debra A. Pinals, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, as stating, “We found that most states, about 38 jurisdictions, permit some form of involuntary substance use treatment separate from any kind of criminal issues under their civil statutes.”

Still, some states have no statutes discerning what can be done in this situation. Some others vary widely on specific criteria for a civil commitment. In order to better understand if a civil commitment is an option for your loved one, you must consider your state’s specific criteria on this matter.

Is Coerced Treatment Effective?

Some research shows that individuals who enter into treatment against their will or who are not wholeheartedly behind the notion still obtain positive results that are comparable to those who choose treatment on their own.

According to one publication from the Harm Reduction Journal, there are variable results on individuals who are coerced through social controls into treatment. However, they write that “studies have largely found that legal pressures promote longer retention and that clients who enter treatment under legal pressures show comparable or better short-term treatment responses (e.g., reductions in substance use, criminal activity) to others in treatment.”

Consider an Intervention

Before you consider exerting such force as a civil commitment, you should examine the possibility of a professionally led intervention. Though some may choose to lead an intervention on their own, the aid of a professional interventionist can help ensure the highest measure of success. Interventionists are highly trained and certified, able to plan and execute the intervention to a rate of high success.

During the course of an intervention, emotions may flare from both the individual living with addiction and their loved ones. An interventionist is adept at handling these concerns while also diffusing tension before it escalates to a point of violence or aggression. Beyond this, they will also take care of preparations associated with transporting your loved one to treatment, an essential component should your loved one accept what is presented to them and begin desiring help.

Be Willing to Step Back or Take Part in the Treatment Process

Some individuals may desire to have limited contact with friends or family during their time in treatment. For others, they may simply want to cut off ties, not because of specific reasons, but as a way to focus entirely on themselves to heal.

Others may want extra support during recovery. As family members, this can provide you with a powerful opportunity to learn about the various ways you can better support your loved one in recovery while creating a more adaptable and engaging family dynamic that can be foundational to their recovery going forward. A family support program can aid you in doing these things and can become an important component of a comprehensive addiction treatment plan.

Woodland Recovery Center Can Help Your Loved One

We understand that you may, more than anything, desire to see your loved one on the path to a drug- and alcohol-free life. However, we do understand that you may be uncertain about the best way to approach your loved one regarding their addiction or treatment needs. Woodland Recovery Center has compassionate and resource-driven treatment specialists standing by to aid you in these needs. Contact us at 662.222.2989 today.