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What’s the Best Course of Action if Your Child Refuses Rehab?

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If your child is struggling with addiction issues, it’s difficult to know what to do. You might have had conversations with your child about treatment, but they resisted your requests for help. If your child refuses treatments, then there’s ways to assist your child receive the care they need and provide them with an opportunity to get sober.

For children who are younger than 18 years old, you can take them to rehab involuntarily. When your child turns older than 18 but it is an even more challenging. After they become legally adult, you can’t require them to undergo treatment without the following factors being in place:

You must prove that the person has an addiction to alcohol or drugs>
It is also necessary to prove that the individual has threatened, attempted to, or caused harm to themselves or to others.
The addiction has become too severe that they are not able to meet the basic requirements for themselves (such as food, shelter, or clothes) and there is not anyone else who is willing to help them.

If you have these conditions in place, you’re legally able to obtain court-ordered rehabilitation or emergency hospitalization. Each state will have its own requirements, but it is important to get legal advice prior to taking these procedures.

What States can you commit someone into rehab?

There are currently 37 states which include California in which you to force someone to undergo rehab if they satisfy a set of criteria. These requirements align with the same requirements of a court-ordered rehab above.

In a state-by-state basis the state is in, a person could be detained anywhere from up to 15 days prior to the hearing scheduled to be held. In certain states, an uninvoluntary commitment of two weeks ‘ duration is instated and if the person is deemed able to care independently outside of the facility, they can be released to outpatient treatment. Failure to follow through with outpatient treatment can result in the person being placed back in the inpatient program.

How to Get Someone to go to Rehab

There are many options to consider in deciding how to get your child in rehab. Even if a person isn’t willing to accept help at first There are methods to increase their willingness to accept treatments. It is possible to pursue alternatives for forced rehabilitation or an intervention to provide individuals with the chance to take on help for themselves. The effectiveness of rehab is greater when someone is willing to receive help and takes active steps towards achieving sobriety. Whichever method you choose, getting your child into an environment that allows them to examine their situation without the effects of alcohol and drugs alcohol is a vital step to take in the process of healing.

Court-Ordered Drug Rehab

A court-ordered rehab is not the easiest path to take however, it’s an option. This can be difficult for various reasons. Your child might feel betrayed or frustrated with you for letting them go, which is not a choice. It is also important to consult with an attorney prior to taking on this route to ensure that court-ordered rehabilitation program is completed. Qualifications vary from state-to-state that is why it is important to seek guidance beforehand.

In the majority of cases the form will be filled out indicating the need for rehabilitation
This is then submitted to an expert judge for review
A hearing is scheduled in which you are required to plead your case
Your child will also have the chance to argue their case
If a decision is taken, your child will then be taken into custody to receive treatment

Emergency Hospitalization

A hospitalization emergency may be an option if your child requires emergency care as a result of the use of drugs. The emergency-ordered rehabilitation is usually granted when a person experiences mental or physical health issues because of addiction. Treatment can begin immediately through the hospitalization before transitioning into the treatment facility.

Once in the hospital, children will then be assessed by addiction and mental health specialists to determine their health. Alongside receiving treatment, they’ll be detained for a screening and could be evaluated by an officer of the police and a police officer.

Similar to court-ordered rehabilitation you’ll need complete a formal form for the judge to explain why your child needs treatment
An hearing will be held to evaluate the situation and decide on the most effective course of action


The option of holding an intervention is an option if any of the above options seem like too much to handle. The benefit of having intervention over alternatives is that it allows for the conversation to take place with your child and gives the child the chance to ask for help instead of being pressured into it.

An intervention can be conducted by yourself, however consulting an interventionist may help in making the process easier. By discussing your situation with experts, suggestions can be offered on who to mention who to include, what to say and where to hold the event. After that, you’ll be able to prepare by practicing prior to the time and planning for any possible negative outcomes.

Typically with an intervention, an ultimatum needs to be issued. This usually falls under the trope of if treatment is not accepted, the consequences will occur. It could be that you stop giving financial support, not having them live with you, or another means of cutting off the support needed to continue use. Although it can be difficult, it’s crucial in helping your child understand the need for assistance.

What’s the best course of Action if Your Child Refuses Rehab?

If your child does not want to go to rehab and you have the possibility of forcing them into treatment it is suggested to proceed with that option. In many cases addiction, people may refuse help several times before accepting it (if at all) and it is not uncommon to struggle with this. If your child does feel anger or feels a sense of guilt, getting treatment for addiction is essential.

Many experience concerns about the idea that forcing someone to attend rehab can make it less effective, however this is not the case. Actually, forced rehabilitation is a powerful motivator in helping someone to recognize their need to seek treatment. It could serve as a wakeup call and help invoke the change you seek.

It is quite possible that rehab, whether it is non-voluntary or not, will fail, and it is dependent on the individual. The ability to help someone attain the clarity of mind free from the effects of mind-altering and mood altering drugs can help them realize the necessity to seek treatment. Even if forced therapy fails they are put in a position where they must consider their options and assess the situation. This is a vital first step.