How to Admit Someone to Rehab

How to Admit Someone to Rehab

It may be a spouse, adult child, parent, or friend who has all the signs of a substance abuse problem. It is clear this person you care about needs help, but so far they have refused to consider rehab. So, how do you convince them to get the treatment they need? How do you admit someone to rehab when they don’t want to go?

How Do I Know My Loved One Needs Rehab?

The classic signs of substance use disorder are virtually the same no matter which substance they are having a problem with. If your loved one is exhibiting some of these warning signs of substance abuse or addiction, they need help. 

  • Increased tolerance of the substance.
  • Obsessed about obtaining the substance and having enough on hand.
  • The doctor shops for more refills or obtains the drug through illicit channels.
  • Loss of interest in the things they once enjoyed.
  • Secretive behaviors; lying about their substance abuse.
  • Sleeping habits change, they sleep too much or too little.
  • Impaired ability to complete basic tasks at work or home.
  • Ignores personal hygiene.
  • Frequent mood swings.
  • Increased irritability.
  • Keeps using the substance despite mounting problems.
  • They want to quit the substance abuse, but can’t.
  • Substance abuse is causing problems in relationships.
  • They have legal problems due to the addiction.
  • They experience cravings.
  • Experiences withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop the substance.

5 Ways to Approach Someone About Going to Rehab

If you are concerned about a loved one, you are probably hoping to learn how to admit someone into rehab. This shows that you are being proactive, versus just sitting and waiting for your loved one to hit bottom. After all, their bottom could be death.

There are some effective ways to approach someone about getting help. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Be tactical. Be smart about when you approach the person. Don’t attempt to start the discussion about addiction treatment when the person is under the influence. This also pertains to mood. If they are angry, tired, or moody, do not broach the subject. Look for a calm moment to open up the topic of rehab.
  2. Be thoughtful. Don’t start a conversation about rehab at a social gathering or public event where you risk embarrassing the person. Pick a time when you are alone with him or her to gently approach the subject of treatment.
  3. Get informed. Before approaching the person, learn about addiction and how it can take over their ability to control the substance abuse. It is common for a concerned family member to lash out at the loved one, asking why they don’t just stop. Get informed about the power of addiction before you discuss treatment.
  4. Be compassionate. As frustrated and worried as you feel when you approach the person, strive to show compassion. Let them know that you are aware of how hard it is to wrest control over addiction.
  5. Have a plan. Be sure to explore treatment options ahead of time so you can offer guidance if they are open to rehab. Have some concrete ideas in place when you approach him or her. Look into some treatment programs, and learn about the different levels of care.

What to Do When Someone Refuses to Go to Rehab?

When the person flatly refuses to go to rehab willingly, it can be exasperating. You can see how badly they need to get help, but they are not cooperating at all. So, what do you do?

An intervention can be very effective when hitting a roadblock. Sometimes it takes a professional to convince someone in denial that they require treatment. An interventionist partners with the family members in planning a meeting with the loved one. During the intervention, the family members relay their personal feelings and concerns to the loved one. The goal is to hopefully persuade him or her to seek treatment.

What is Voluntary vs. Involuntary Rehab Admission?

So, how do you admit someone to rehab? Your loved one has two avenues to choose from for getting addiction treatment: voluntary admission or involuntary admission. Voluntary admission means that the person agrees they need treatment and are self-admit to rehab.

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It is always better for the loved one to decide to go to rehab by choice, versus being court-ordered. When the person enters treatment willingly, they are more engaged in therapy and become an active stakeholder in their recovery.  

There are times, though, when a person may need to be forced into treatment. This usually occurs when they have gotten into trouble with the law, or when their life is in danger. Examples of when involuntary admission is appropriate: 

  • Cannot control or stop the substance abuse.
  • Have had multiple arrests due to drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Have been in failing health due to addiction.
  • Find their mental health is adversely affected by the substance abuse.
  • Cannot keep a job due to the substance use disorder.
  • Have attempted suicide due to the effects of addiction.

A person can be forced into treatment by the court or by a family member. In the case of a family member trying to get their loved one into treatment, there is a process. They must first make the case in court before a judge who will rule on it.

How Can the Family Be Supportive of a Loved One Who Agrees to Go to Rehab?

Regardless of whether the person went into rehab of their own will or not, they will need the support of their family. You can begin to show your support through the family sessions offered at the rehab. Just by showing up and participating you are sending them a clear message of support.

Other ways to be supportive include:

  • Helping them navigate their insurance plan.
  • Offer logistical support, such as helping with childcare.
  • Offer to join them at recovery meetings.
  • Be available when they need to talk or feel worried about their sobriety.

Annandale Behavioral Health

Comprehensive California Addiction Treatment

Annandale Behavioral Health is a full-service recovery program that provides evidence-based care for individuals struggling with addiction. If your loved one has a substance use disorder, we can guide you on how to admit someone to rehab. Call us today at (855) 778-8668