How to Admit Someone to Rehab
Many problems can be encountered when trying to admit someone to rehab. Perhaps the biggest challenge lies with individuals who are addicted to a substance but may not be willing to consider options for recovery. Proper care has to be taken when speaking to your loved one and convincing him to go to a rehabilitation center. In order to successfully admit someone to rehab you will need to encourage treatment, help your loved one explore options for treatment, and prepare for rehabilitation.
Intervene as soon as possible.Intervention becomes more difficult as the addiction worsens. Do not put off helping your loved one. Make a well developed plan to intervene and carry it out as soon as feasible. The longer you wait the more harm may come to your loved one, depending on his specific circumstances and addiction severity.
- If the situation becomes life-threatening, you may be able to admit the person to a psychiatric hospital against his will. If you believe that your loved one is at serious risk of harming himself or others, discuss this with his therapist immediately or call your local emergency number (such as 911) in case of immediate danger.
Be supportive.Social support from friends and family is crucial to recovery from substance abuse.Tread carefully and learn how to appropriately support your loved one. The process of drug intervention requires you to address the person's lifestyle and problems, yet you must be careful not to make the other person feel that his freedom of choice is being threatened.
- Don't criticize or judge. If you respect the other person you will get respect in return, which means that your opinion will become more valuable to him. For instance you can say something like, "I know you have been struggling with this for a while and I just want you to know that I am here to help and support you in your recovery." Avoid saying things like, "I am so sick and tired of you being drunk and high."
- Help your loved one make the right decision, but do not force anything on him. This can damage the relationship and lead to less likelihood that he will receive treatment. You can say something like, "I will support you in getting the treatment you need. Please let me know how I can help. I want what is best for you."
- Avoid arguments. You need to show support for your loved one's well-being rather than try to prove him wrong. Make the impression that you are a friend, not a foe. You can do this by being calm, avoiding aggression (such as raising your voice), and dealing with your own anger or sadness regarding your loved one's problem. If you find the situation is getting worse you can say something like, "It seems like this is turning into and argument and I don't want to fight. Maybe we need a break from talking about this for a bit."
Seek professional help.Professionals who specialize in drug intervention can help your chances of convincing the individual to go to a rehabilitation center.At times, the professional interventionist may not intervene directly but rather help you in doing so, especially if you are a close relative or friend of the person and he feels more comfortable talking to you. Some rehab centers have professional interventionists on staff that can help you with the intervention process.
- If you are planning a group intervention, get professional assistance.Professionals (therapists, psychologists, etc.) can help assist you in deciding what type of confrontation or treatment may be useful for your loved one. Contact your insurance and your loved one's if possible for treatment options.
- If your loved one already has a therapist, you can ask your loved one politely if you can have permission to speak to his therapist. Keep in mind, you may have to sign a release in order to talk with the therapist. You can then explain your concerns and request assistance. Be wary that the therapist may not be able to perform the intervention herself due to boundary concerns.
Choose a positive way to confront your loved one.Choose an appropriate place for your discussion. Choose the meeting place wisely. Select a location where the person with addiction does not feel threatened or embarrassed. For example, it may be better to meet privately rather than in public places. At times, people with addictions can become withdrawn from the outside world, so go to the person's home if you can.
- You may choose to confront your loved one alone or with a group of people, as in an intervention. Decide which approach you think will benefit your loved one most.
Indicate your intentions clearly.Don't make your loved one feel like you are trying to trick him into going to a rehab center. Instead, you should be able to discuss this problem with the person with addiction openly and then direct the conversation towards a solution. Withdrawal from many types of drugs can be life-threatening. Going to a center where the withdrawal can be supervised can help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. The centers are staffed so if anything happens during withdrawal, they can be there to assist.
- Use “I statements” such as, “I feel sad knowing that you are struggling so badly with your addiction.” You can follow up by saying, “I would feel so much better knowing that you were getting treatment and being safe.”
- If it helps, write down what you want to say beforehand so that you can practice being clear and indicating your concern.
Stress the negative effects of drug abuse.Emphasize the affect your loved one's problem has had on you, as well as family and friends. For example, try to help the person realize that addiction is not just a problem that is isolated to one person, but rather something that affects the whole family and society negatively. At times, a major convincing factor for seeking help can be love for others rather than for the self.
- Depending on the type of drug used, you can educate your loved one about the consequences of using this drug. For example, if your loved one drinks alcohol to excess, you can explain that you are concerned for him due to the many health effects that drinking alcohol can cause such as memory issues, heart problems, digestive problems, bone damage, liver disease, eye problems, a weakened immune system and increased risk of cancer.
Educate your loved one about the benefits of treatment.One reason individuals may avoid treatment is due to stigma, or negative beliefs, about mental health and therapy services.You can help your loved one by addressing the myths and stigma about treatment.
- Explain to your loved one that treatment is not meant to be seen as punishment. You can say, "Treatment is about getting the help you need. I hope you don't see it as a punishment. I don't see it that way, but as a fresh start for you."
- You can educate your loved one that individuals who do not get treatment are at a much higher risk of relapse than those who receive therapy.You could say, "You know, I read that research shows that getting treatment helps people stay sober and not relapse."
- Short-term treatment methods such as residential therapy and medication therapy often last less than 6 months. Hence, you may be able to present the addiction recovery treatment as just a short-term phase in the person's life that will have long-term benefits.
Exploring Treatment Options
Conduct research on available treatments.Your loved one may need a sense of self-efficacy and control over his choice in treatment in order to be successful.This can help increase motivation and reduce the likelihood of relapse. While you are aiming toward rehabilitation treatment, your loved one may want to explore other options. The more you know about the available treatments the better prepared you will be to help him see their advantages.
- Self-help groups, for example, can be very helpful in treating substance use and maintaining sobriety.
Visit local rehabilitation centers beforehand.Individuals who are drug-addicted can often go through mood swings that make them indecisive. Once your loved one has agreed to go to a rehab center, you should be able to admit him there as soon as possible.
- Help your loved one discuss the requirements of the rehab (rules, regulations), as well as schedules (therapy, exercise, leisure time, etc.).
- Ask about evidence-based practices. EBPs are therapy interventions that have research which shows they are helpful for a particular disorder.
Identify the cost of treatment.The longer you stay in a secure or supervised location, the more likely you may be to recover and maintain sobriety.However, this can be costly. Thus, it may be important to first make sure the person can fully afford rehabilitation treatment.
- You can help your loved once communicate with his medical insurance company about treatment options.
Preparing for Rehab
Prepare for withdrawal symptoms.Different substances vary drastically in their withdrawal severity and symptoms.However, it is important to research and understand the effects of withdrawal associated with the substance that your loved one is trying to quit.
- For example, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include: sweating, rapid heartbeat, hand tremors, problems sleeping, nausea and vomiting, hallucinations, restlessness and agitation, anxiety, and occasionally seizures.
Help your loved one reduce stress.Increases in stress can lead to relapse in drug users.
- Encourage your loved one to engage in relaxing activities prior to going to rehab. Some examples include: getting adequate sleep, taking bubble baths, meditating, and watching funny movies.
Personally escort the person to the rehab center.Social support is especially crucial during the moments and days before being admitted into rehab; the person may show signs of second thoughts or resistance toward treatment. Make sure you or someone else helps the individual get himself ready for treatment and is there for him as he is admitted.Otherwise, you may have to repeat the whole process again, which can become more difficult if the first attempt has failed.
- When times get hard, remind your loved one why he wants to attend rehab. Reasons may vary, but some examples include to: regain a sense of control, be able to be a productive member of society, reduce the negative health effects of substance us, increase positive choices, etc. You could say something like, "Remember why you decided to go to rehab? You wanted to get your life back. I know it seems like it will be so hard, and I know it will be a challenge, but it will be worth it in the end."
- Explain that you will be supportive of the person while he is in treatment. You could say, "If you need anything while you are here please let me know. I believe in you and I know you can do this if you put your mind to it."
Continue to be supportive.Since social support is crucial to maintaining treatment and sobriety, you may want to continue to be supportive of your loved one while he is in treatment.Being there for your friend or family member can help him remain in treatment and be successful.
- Visit the admitted individual frequently if allowed and show your love and support throughout the process. One way to show your support is by attending group or family treatments that are suggested by the treatment facility.
- Try to motivate the person going through recovery by promising a gift that will be presented after the therapy is complete. This may give hope to the person and a positive attitude towards returning to normal life. You could say, "Once you complete treatment we can go on a trip together. It will be great to experience a new place sober."
- Encourage your loved one to call you if he is having a difficult time in rehab. You can say, "I am here for you so please don't hesitate to contact me if you want to talk or need help." Some programs don't allow contact with family members for a length of time, check and see first if contact will be allowed and when.
QuestionAre there any free rehab centers for adult addicts who are indigent?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSearch Alcoholics Anonymous groups by zip code. Groups or clubs can often provide guidance about local alcoholic rehab centers.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I force someone to go to rehab?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can't. Rehab will only work if that person is willing to go. They may be skeptical, but they need to make the decision that they want to get clean. Anything else will end in failure.Thanks!
QuestionHe says he's mixed up and hurt. He thinks he has to drink to cope.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerEVERY alcoholic/addict is mixed up and hurt. If your addict does not yet need inpatient rehabilitation, He could go to daily AA and/or NA meetings (aa.org and na.org, respectively--searchable by zip code.) Innumerable addicts have recovered through the 12-Step program fellowships. Your addict may require psychological or psychiatric care for the depression. Dealing with an addict every day is also confusing and painful to US--as caretakers and family members. There is a wonderful organization called Al-Anon Family Groups (search al-anon.org) that will welcome us and help us deal with our lives that include an alcoholic/addict. For caregivers to narcotics addicts, search nar-anon.com.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get help when I have no money?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf the patient does not yet need residential treatment, there is the option of free daily AA or NA fellowship; innumerable addicts have recovered using their 12-Step Programs. On the website aa.org you can look up Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) groups by zip code. If residential treatment is a must, AA groups can often provide guidance about local alcoholic rehab options. The organization Narcotics Anonymous ("NA") at na.org (searchable by zip code) may be able to provide rehabilitation service information for other drug addicts. If these resources (AA and NA) fail, you might try researching the addict's local hospitals and State, County and City Health Departments.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I also have psychological issues, such as I saw my mother in a bar yesterday when she has been dead for a few months?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThese symptoms could be pre-date the drug use or could be caused by extended use of the drug(s) of choice. The Alcoholics Anonymous "Big Book" discusses extended use of alcohol causing irrevocable insanity due to "wet brain" and that is due "only" to overuse of alcohol. Other drugs/drug mixtures have different specific effects but all drugs of abuse work on the brain. There is lots of information out there to sort through but the symptom you quote is undoubtedly serious and demands attention.Thanks!
How do I admit my child to rehab if I can't afford it?
What kind of legal action does a person need when they have a grandchild to take care of when their parent goes into rehab?
How do I admit my sibling into rehab against their will?
Can I become a legal guardian for another adult and make them go to rehabilitation?
Will you be able to be admitted without identification
- Avoid joking about a person's addiction problems. Even though your loved one may crack jokes, it is important for you to treat this as a serious problem. However, jokes about other matters in life may help maintain a friendly relationship.
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