Can You Force an Addict into Rehab?

Can You Force an Addict into Rehab?

Can you force an addict into rehab? There’s a world of difference between forcing a loved one to go into drug and alcohol rehab in centers like Lanna Rehab and applying the right amount of pressure. With the latter, they can make the decision themselves and have the motivation to enter and exit rehab successfully. The patient’s recovery depends on how you approach your intervention and coax him to undergo rehab in the first place. After all, you don’t want to be the enabler of a drug addict.

You want your loved one to recover; at the same time, you don’t want to push him away. You should consider empowering your loved one using professional support and compassionate intervention.

When to Consider a Professional Interventionist

Involuntary commitment into drug rehab is not your only option. In fact, it should be a last resort. First, try to reason with the addict since his consent to enter rehab will enhance the rehab’s effectiveness by leaps and bounds. There are many ways to help someone you love who is abusing drugs or alcohol. Hiring an addiction interventionist is one of the best steps to take.

An addiction interventionist plans and executes an intervention on your behalf. This eliminates the need for you to do the confrontation by yourself or with friends and family. In many U.S. states as well as countries, concerned family and friends can’t force someone into rehab through court-mandated forced rehab. Even if they could, the results aren’t always satisfactory due to the addict’s feeling of betrayal.

Benefits of Consensual, Voluntary Treatment

Addicts respond better to voluntary treatment with his consent compared to court-ordered forced rehabilitation or commitment to a rehab facility. The likelihood of his recovery and rehab success is more assured when he chooses to cooperate. The addict has already lost a bit of his agency because of his condition. Thus, having him take control by deciding to go into rehab is a tremendous step forward towards sobriety.

Professional interventionist offerings are not as common as compared to finding a rehab facility. You need to conduct a diligent search to find people who can assist you. Some rehab centers might even offer this extra service on top of inpatient or residential treatment. The pro knows what to do to get an unwilling, in-denial addict see the need for treatment. You can also stage the intervention yourself and offer a wellness vacation at a place like Lanna Rehab in Thailand.

Primary Ways of Forcing an Addict into Rehab


You must be concerned regarding the downward spiral your loved one is going through by being an alcoholic and/or drug addict. It’s like he has become a zombie or a slave to his cravings and hedonistic tendencies. He’s likely prioritizing his indulgences and throwing away everything else in his life to the point of self-destruction.

There are various ways you can go about getting someone to rehab in the United States, including by force.

Staging an Intervention should be your first course of action. If you believe you can still talk sensibly with your addicted loved one, you can stage an intervention. Gather his closest friends and family members together to talk with the addict and make him realize his problem. Making sure he’s aware is the first step towards his recovery. Furthermore, he might be more open to rehab if he knows that he’s going to a rehab wellness trip to Thailand’s Lanna Rehab.

You can also have the court order your beloved to enter rehab or treatment. It’s a legal mandate so they’re likelier to comply with it as compared to you persuading them. Many U.S. states support involuntary commitment laws as long as you follow the standard operating procedures and application channels. You should also demonstrate that your legal action is justified when push comes to shove. Legal obligation ensures that the law requires your beloved to get rehabilitation.

Forcing an Addict into Rehab in the U.S.

  • Involuntary Commitment Law in California: If you’re in a desperate situation requiring immediate action, it’s handy to know that California has an involuntary commitment law that enables you to literally and legally force someone into rehab. This time-controlled option for forced rehab allows family members to petition a Californian court to send a court order to the addict for treatment. Usually, the family needs to present proof that the person they want to commit is an addict and could harm others or themselves.
  • The Marchman Act: This was previously known as the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993. Today, it is called the Marchman Act and it’s in effect in the state of Florida. It enables law enforcement and families to send someone involuntarily into rehab if the addiction poses a threat to people around the person or the person himself. Hence, it’s similar to California’s Involuntary Commitment Law but applies only to Florida. Many other states are hoping to follow suit in order to alleviate the devastating effects of the opioid crisis.
  • The Laws for Forced Rehab in Other States: In many U.S. states besides California and Florida, the spouse, relative, guardian, private practitioner, or any three adults who have personal knowledge of the addiction may file the petition for forced rehab. The court orders this involuntary treatment. It usually involves setting a court date to determine if the addict meets the checklist for substance use assessment. If the assessor determines that the addict needs treatment, they will set another court date to know if involuntary treatment will be ordered or not.

Challenges of Court-Ordered Forced Rehab

The problem with the involuntary commitment law is that the addict can hide in order to avoid being committed. This might not be the most effective approach to getting a loved one rehabbed. This approach might undermine their ability to benefit from rehabilitation because it is not their own choice. They might become hardheaded about not having an addiction issue in the first place. This leads them to miss the opportunity to holistically transform towards sobriety.

From one state to another, the timeframe of involuntary commitment will vary. This is especially in light of the need for the addict to attend to court dates to know if rehab is necessary. This gives the addict the chance to escape. The length of treatment will also depend on the assessor, judge, as well as circumstances of the case. Unlike jail time, most rehab facilities don’t have lockdown. Thus, people who decide to leave rehab before the program is over risk contempt of court.

Forcing an Addict into Rehab in Other Countries

There are many processes in other countries — especially  those with a drug epidemic — wherein families can help a loved one enter rehab even if against his will. Some offer free or voluntary rehab with the incentive that the addict is taken care of with no financial burden on his part. Other countries include rehab to those who were captured and jailed for drug possession. Other countries even allow addicts to take controlled doses of the drug in order to wean them from their addiction.

Considerations When Taking Legal Action

When doing something more than just an intervention in order to get your loved one into rehab, take a step back and consider how your parent, child, relative, spouse, or friend will react to such a hard imposition. He might resent your actions because he’s having a hard time trusting people and accepting their help. It’s much better to have his consent and awareness of his condition before trying to get him to rehab.

Keep in mind that addicts don’t only betray the trust of friends and family due to their sickness that have taken over their mind. They also have trust issues themselves, such that they’re paranoid about people and aren’t too accepting of help. To accept help to them is to stop denying that there’s a problem with them, which is quite devastating to their ego. Ironically, they might view you forcing rehab unto them as an act of betrayal even though you’re only doing this in their best interests.

Can You Force Someone to Go to Rehab, and Does It Work?


You’ve just seen that yes, there are legal and social means for you to force an addict into rehabilitation. With that in mind, should you force someone to go to rehab in the first place? Does it work at all? It depends on your situation and how bad the addiction condition of your loved one has become. If it’s an emergency, you deciding to force someone into rehab might mean the difference between life and death.

Incidentally, rehab helps a lot in getting to the root of the psychological problems that has pushed many an individual into a life of hedonism, drug over-consumption, and alcoholism. However, is forcing the issue the way to go?

Effects of Forcing Rehab Unto Addicts

Forcing your loved one to go to rehab has the potential to make things worse. If the addict was pushed into drinking alcohol and using drugs due to deep pains and real-life struggles, these challenges might just imprint your “betrayal” more severely into their sensitive psyche. This is because you’re not acknowledging the reasons or root behind their addiction. Remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, whether you’re enabling someone or pushing them towards rehab. Being forced into anything—even something that’s good for you—will usually have you end up bitter or stir more trouble, especially if you’re an addict.

Many addicts can be resistant to forced help. An addict usually ends up addicted to drugs in order to cope with problems or stress. It’s one thing if an addict accidentally became addicted to something like painkillers, so informing him of the need to go into rehab is more straightforward in such a case. It’s a whole other kettle of fish if the addict uses drugs as a coping mechanism for life. Therefore, being forced into rehab might stir up some of the same fearful feelings that pushed him to becoming a substance abuser. This then translates to him building more resistance towards getting help.

Note, too, that some addicts prefer denial over real solutions. The same things that encouraged an addiction might also make them wary of help. This is because most people dislike not being in control or lacking agency. This is ironic because addicts usually lose their inhibition and sense of self-control. They merely cope with this by denying their loss instead of actually taking back control over their life. Drugs are an easy answer to their life problems and they usually pair this with denial.

Getting to the Root of the Addiction Problem

Many addicts have a range of problems to address, with their life of addiction serving as a symptom of their coping issues over trauma. The answer to all this is you having a dialog with the addict in question in order to show that you have his best interests at heart so that you can convince him he’s in need of comprehensive treatment for substance abuse and addiction. This is a precarious slope to traverse though. You need to ask the right questions in order to show that rehab or even dual diagnosis treatment available in clinics like Lanna is in order.

It’s best to show compassion and empathy. Having sympathy for the plight of your addicted loved one can spell the difference between consenting admittance to a rehab center or forced rehab via court order. An addict is precarious and vulnerable. Therefore, you should ask questions that lead to compassionate, constructive conversations that will guide him to say yes to the treatment. Of course, this requires a lot of hard work.

Important Things to Remember

Communication is crucial. Legal action isn’t your only course of action and should be a last resort. Having an addicted loved one is an ordeal, but forced legal court orders to go to rehab shouldn’t be your sole option. Do your best to understand why your partner, sibling, child, or parent ended up abusing a substance or several. Usually, it’s a complicated experience of insecurity, pain, and trauma that can’t be resolved in a month of rehab.

Remember that it’s ideal for the addict to decide that he needs help. An intervention opens up a dialog or conversation between the two of you or him and his whole collection of family and friends who love him. Order by court is ideally only for desperate situations, not when you can still talk to the addict at the cusp of him ruining his life. In fact, some people don’t learn until they experience the negative consequences of their actions. Regardless, their greatest ally in the path to sobriety is themselves, so as much as possible don’t take away their agency from them by deciding they need rehab on their behalf.

To Force or Not to Force Someone Into Rehab


Can you force an addict into rehab? Technically, yes. However, it’s less risky to stage an intervention and have him decide to enter rehab himself. If you’re having trouble getting your loved one into rehab you can make the experience more enticing. One of the most effective ways to do is through rehab or medical tourism. This is a popular method of rehabilitation done in an exclusive inpatient facility (such as Lanna Rehab in Thailand).

There’s a world of difference between forcing an addict into rehab and applying the right amount of pressure for them to become aware of their addiction and getting enough motivation to finally enter treatment. It’s about reestablishing trust, showing that you care, and giving someone who has lost control of their life the ultimatum they need in order to finally step forward and do something positive in the face of substance use disorder. If you or someone you care about is struggling with substance abuse and requires assistance to achieve sobriety, then call the toll-free numbers of Lanna Rehab right now.

Families Can Depend on Lanna Rehab for Treatment

The appeal of being “forced” into rehab at such a facility is that it’s similar to a wellness vacation. It enables you to enjoy the beauty of Thailand after treatment. The facilities of clinics like Lanna are also resort-like, so you won’t feel like you’re imprisoned in a mental hospital. Expect to be well-cared for by health professionals. What’s more, it’s much cheaper than local inpatient rehab more often than not while having the added bonus of having holiday vibes to it.

Lanna Rehab, one of the fastest growing rehab centers in Thailand, is here to help. Situated in Chiang Mai, the clinic is known as a destination par excellence when it comes to narcotics and alcohol dependence. Many patients fly to them from all corners of the globe, including the Americas, Europe, and Australia.

Please contact them today and get a FREE addiction consultation and booking info.

Martin Peters

Martin Peters has a BA (Hons) Dip HE Dip RN CSAT III and is the Group Program Director Lanna Healthcare. He is a Registered Nurse and Certified Substance Abuse Therapist working in the mental health field since 1994; Martin has had a wide range of experience in management and supervisory roles within established healthcare systems, and has provided consultancy services to a number of private and public sector organizations in the UK and Asia in terms of management, policy writing, accreditation and recruitment. Martin’s addictions experience has been in developing inpatient services in Thailand since 2009, both clinical and operational. He has been instrumental in expanding and developing a non 12 step inpatient treatment centre and opening a further inpatient centre with a 12 step approach, implementing KIPU Electronic Records, strengthening hospital partnerships, introducing a Scholarship for students under the Masters in Addiction Studies Program at The ASEAN Institute for Health Development and working with an international accreditation body. Martin has also been a speaker at several international conferences on addiction, including ASEAN conferences and has also guest lectured at Mahidol University (Thailand), University of Sarghoda (Pakistan) Institute of Medical Sciences (Pakistan) and has been a representative on the CARF Standards Advisory Committee for 2016.In 2015. Martin became a Co-Founder of Lanna Healthcare, launching Lanna Rehab in March 2016 and opening Jintra in January 2018. In June of 2018, Martin was involved in the merger of Lanna and DARA, becoming Thailand's biggest private licensed operator. Martin is currently a Joint and Asia Health Co Ltd Owner Operator of Lanna Healthcare Co Ltd, which under its umbrella manages Lanna Rehab in Chiang Mai, Jintra Rehab in Chiang Mai and DARA Rehab in Koh Chang - all Thailand MoPH Licensed Addiction Facilities providing world-class treatment in Thailand.

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