Admittance Is the First Step: How to Convince a Loved One to Go to Rehab

how to get someone into rehab

In 2016, more than 46 people in the United States died every day due to prescription opioid overdose. That’s about 16,790 lives lost in one year. These fatalities make up over 40% of all opioid overdose deaths.

Then came 2017. Drug overdoses that year took the lives of an estimated 72,287 people. Opioid overdose resulted in almost 49,000 of these deaths.

Shocking and scary, right?

But this doesn’t have to happen to your loved one. If you have a family member or friend with drug addiction, it’s time you intervene.

Knowing how to get someone into rehab – and convincing them ASAP – can make a huge difference. In fact, it can be all the difference between a life and death situation.

How exactly can you motivate someone with an addiction to undergo rehabilitation though? Especially one who doesn’t want to?

There’s no one effective way, but we’ve compiled this guideline that can help.

Determine That a Loved One Has Actual Addiction

Addiction comes in many types, and not all fall under the opioid crisis. There’s alcohol abuse, which in fact, is a problem one in eight Americans face. There’s also addiction to antidepressants, which often occurs due to misdiagnoses.

The thing is, certain disorders have symptoms similar to those of substance addiction. Take depression, for instance.

People suffering from depression tend to isolate themselves and suffer from sleep issues. They also often feel irritable, restless, and even go through memory lapses.

These are symptoms common in people with addiction problems. But that doesn’t mean depressed people already rely on alcohol or drugs.

That’s why it’s crucial you first come up with proof that your loved one has indeed developed an addiction. Imagine how hurt they’ll feel if they don’t have an addiction but then you straight up tell them to go to a rehab. That could cause a serious strain on your relationship.

For people suffering from depression, that has an even bigger consequence. They may not have an addiction now, but an accusation from a loved one can cause them to.

Remember, depression and addiction are co-occurring disorders. So, tread with care before offering your help to a family member or friend you think has an addiction.

How to Get Someone into Rehab with Intervention and Not Pleading

Keep in mind that nagging or begging someone to get rehabilitated won’t do either of you any good. In fact, it may only cause the addict to shy farther away from you.

Instead, once you have enough proof, intervene. This can be one of the most powerful tools on how to convince someone to go to rehab.

Interventions work best when an addict’s entire circle get together.

Sometimes, it’s not enough to hear only from one person about the destruction caused by one’s addiction. But when an addict’s loved ones get together to tell them about it, it can be an eye-opener.

So, reach out to other family members, friends, or colleagues of your addicted loved one. Ask them for help regarding the intervention. Their words, together with yours, can serve as a strong motivator for your loved one to go to rehab.

Admit that You’re Not Privy to Everything Going On

During the intervention, your addicted loved one may still respond in denial. It’s common among addicts, and often results from their substance-clouded judgment. They may also defend themselves, even put the spotlight on you and your own flaws.

So, prepare yourself to acknowledge you don’t know everything happening to them. Conceding that you may have assumed wrong can also help.

But make sure that you also tell them how exactly you came up with those assumptions. Which brings us to the next step in this guideline.

Show Them the Proof You’ve Gathered

You know that saying, “Seeing is believing”? Well, that can be another powerful way on how to get someone into rehab against their will.

Remember, alcohol and drug abuse can cause memory lapses, even complete blackouts. Researchers even found that some people are more prone to blackouts. So, it’s still likely that your loved one don’t have any memory of what they did while under influence.

That said, it may be a good idea to show your loved one a film of him/her “in action”. This can be a video of them passing out or behaving in an inappropriate manner in public. Even a clip of them stumbling and falling can be enough to open their eyes.

Seeing how they behave with their own two eyes can bring them back to reality. It can help them realize how destructive their addiction is. It’s affecting not only themselves but the people around them as well.

Emphasize on “We” and Not “You” or “I”

With all the destruction addiction can cause, it can be easy to judge and blame the addict. Especially since you’ll take the brunt of many of addiction’s worst consequences. From embarrassment to dealing with constant lying, these are only a few of what you’ll suffer from.

But spouting “I suffered enough” or “You’re making a huge mess of your life” won’t show your love and concern. An addict may even take these statements the worst possible way – attempting suicide.

Rather than use “You” or “I”, start your sentences with “We”. “We’re here to support you all the way” or “We’ll get through this” sound better and more comforting. That also assures the addict that you’re there to help him/her out get out of “the mess” they made.

Intervene Now Before It’s Too Late

Granted, most addicts need to experience painful moments before they’d turn their lives around. But you shouldn’t wait for that. It’s best that you use this guide on how to get someone into rehab before they hit “rock bottom”.

Because the longer one remains an addict, the higher the risk of them overdosing. By then, there’s no longer a rock bottom waiting for them. So, if you believe that a family member is a functional addict or a friend is abusing narcotics, act ASAP.

In need of more guidance and help with the different forms of addiction? Then please feel free to check out our blog.

About the author

Dr. Michael Carlton, MD.

Leading addictionologist, Michael Carlton, M.D. has over 25 years of experience as a medical practitioner. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and returned for his MD from the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona in 1990. He completed his dual residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and his Fellowship in Toxicology at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

He has published articles in the fields of toxicology and biomedicine, crafted articles for WebMD, and lectured to his peers on medication-assisted treatment. Dr. Carlton was a medical director of Community Bridges and medically supervised the medical detoxification of over 30,000 chemically dependent patients annually.

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