How to Get Someone into Rehab: A Guide for Loved Ones of an Addict

Watching someone you care about struggle with addiction can break your heart and make you second-guess everything you say and do. Your loved one may be in denial, and you may feel like you’re walking a fine line between helping and enabling.

You may have suggested rehab, only to get shot down. As things get worse, you’ll start to wonder what you’re doing wrong.

Don’t blame yourself. Studies show that only 11 percent of people with addiction actually seek treatment, and most people don’t know how to get someone into rehab when they refuse to go. The following suggestions will help you make a compelling case and may be exactly what you to tip the scales in your favor.

What Not to Do When Someone Needs Rehab

Before we dive into the suggestions for convincing a loved one to get treatment, let’s discuss the actions and behaviors you’ll want to avoid while you go through the process.

1. Don’t Panic

Stress is one of the primary drivers of addictive behavior. If you let the situation drive you into a state of panic, this will come through in your conversations, inevitably causing even more stress.

If you’re emotionally overwhelmed, take a step back and assess the situation. Spend some time learning about the causes of addiction and treatment options. Only when you’re calm and collected should you consider approaching your loved one.

2. Don’t Keep Picking Up the Pieces

If you keep cleaning up the mess an addict makes, they’ll never see the destruction they’re creating, let alone take responsibility for it. Understand that your loved one is dealing with a mental health condition. It’s not something you can make go away, no matter how hard you try. Until you let go of this denial, you’ll never be able to help them overcome their denial.

3. Avoid Blaming or Judging

Placing blame or coming from a judgmental place will only make your loved one feel isolated, pressured, and stigmatized. It’s important to separate the person from the disease so that you can both come together to work towards the common goal of recovery.

4. Don’t Try to Do it On Your Own

You must accept that making your loved one seek treatment is not your responsibility. You also don’t have to (and shouldn’t!) do it all on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

In fact, having a strong support network is the only way an addict can recover, so you’ll definitely need additional help at some point. A well-rounded recovery plan includes a team of counselors, therapists, clinicians, family, friends, and others in recovery.

Tips for Convincing an Addict to Seek Treatment

You likely have a long list of compelling reasons why you want your loved one to seek treatment, but no matter how convincing they are, they won’t ever be enough. Before an addict is ready for treatment, they’ll have to find their own emotional connection with their vision of the future after recovery.

You can present your case and offer treatment options, but the addict must ultimately take responsibility for themselves. Otherwise, no amount of treatment will be successful. Here are some tips for helping your loved one reach this point.

1. Do Your Research

As with most things, when it comes to addiction, knowledge is power. Do as much research as you can to learn about the disease of addiction, how rehab works, and what your role will be during the recovery process.

Familiarize yourself with the various treatment options so you sound informed when you approach your loved one. Now is also the ideal time to reach out to an addiction specialist for advice.

2. Attempt a Conversation

Once you feel like you’re fully prepared, attempt a calm and persuasive conversation with your loved one. Make it clear that you are coming from a place of love and concern. Try to help your loved one see the damage that’s occurring and discuss what you’ve learned about the possible treatment options.

Try to listen as much as you speak. Expect that the addict will probably deny the problem, behave evasively, or make excuses. Let them get it out, then bring the conversation back around to the issue at hand.

During this conversation, you’ll need to clearly communicate your limits and the consequences for refusing to seek treatment. This could include refusing to allow the addict to keep living in your home or cutting off financial support.

Understand, however, that there’s a good chance this won’t actually work. If you’re not comfortable approaching this on your own or the conversation doesn’t end the way you need it to, it’s time to consider a professional intervention.

3. Stage a Professional Intervention

You’ve probably seen plenty of interventions on television programs, but they’re not as simple as they appear on the screen. Although they can be effective, there are also many opportunities for a planned intervention to go horribly sideways in a matter of minutes.

Working with a professional interventionalist will help increase the chances of a positive result. A third party with a fresh perspective is often exactly what’s needed in a high-tension situation such as this.

4. Keep the Full Treatment Plan in Perspective

It’s important to understand that agreeing to go into rehab is just the first step. Recovery is a long road which will include drug or alcohol detox, inpatient or outpatient treatment, and a well-thought-out aftercare plan. Failing to follow the entire treatment plan will likely lead to relapse, bringing you right back where you started.

Convincing your loved one to enter rehab is a great first step. You’ll want to prepare yourself, however, to continue supporting them throughout the entire process.

Need More Help with Learning How to Get Someone into Rehab? Start Here!

Do you have more questions about how to get someone into rehab? The addiction specialists at DreamLife Recovery are here to help.

To get started, call our admissions department at 844-402-3592 or complete our online contact form. We’ll help you verify your insurance and offer more suggestions for helping your loved one get the treatment they need.


Article Reviewed by Lidice Morales

Lidice MoralesLidice Morales, an honors graduate from the Kaiser University, has made a name for herself as the Director of Nursing at several behavioral health facilities and as the Director of Operations for Detox MD. Now she is the VP of Operations at DreamLife Recovery. She strives for better patient care through constant self-improvement and furthering her education. Her steadfast work ethic and passion in the field has remained the most important aspect of her professional career; showing dedication to not only the acquisition of new knowledge, but also its mastery. Lidice believes that a professional work atmosphere fosters cohesion and malleability amongst herself and her coworkers; thereby increasing both the level of patient care and quality of life.

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