How to Get Someone to go to Rehab Guide

Jan 2023 How to Get Someone to go to Rehab Guide

A friend has clearly lost the ability to control how much or how often they drink. A family member can’t get through the day without abusing a prescription medication. Watching someone you care struggle with addiction can be an excruciating experience. You know they need help – but what can you do if they don’t seek treatment on their own? Do you know how to get someone to go to rehab? 

Why Should Someone Go to Rehab?

When you’re trying to decide how to get someone to go to rehab, it can be valuable to consider why, exactly, you think they should take this step.

Yes, you want them to stop drinking or using other drugs. But why should they go to rehab? Can’t they simply exert a bit more self-control, or just find a local AA or NA group?

Here are just three of the many reasons why rehab may be the best option:

  • Addiction is not a character flaw, nor is it merely evidence of poor self-control. It is a chronic, progressive disease. If your loved one doesn’t get help, their problem with alcohol or other drugs won’t resolve itself on its own. If anything, their struggles are likely to intensify.
  • While a person is in rehab, they can participate in therapy to identify the issues that may have led them into substance abuse in the first place. Therapy can also help them develop better conflict resolution and stress management skills, so they can respond to future challenges in a healthier manner, without resorting to substance abuse.
  • Many people who develop addictions also have depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other co-occurring mental health disorders. When they get professional care from a reputable provider, they can receive treatment for the co-occurring disorder as well as the addiction. Failing to address any co-occurring mental disorders can significantly hamper a person’s ability to end their substance use and achieve long-term recovery.

A fourth benefit to rehab – which we will address in greater detail in the next section – is that it can be an essential source of support for people who need help getting through withdrawal. 

Man in recovery after family learned how to get someone to go to rehab

Dangers of Withdrawing Alone

When someone who has become addicted to alcohol or another drug tries to end their substance use, they may experience considerable physical and psychological distress. This experience is known as withdrawal. The nature and intensity of withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on factors such as which drug a person has become addicted to, how long they have been abusing the drug, and how much of the drug they have been using.

Withdrawal can be extremely painful. In some severe cases, it can even be life-threatening.

When a person tries to withdraw from alcohol or another drug on their own, they may quickly become overwhelmed by the symptoms they develop. Knowing that they can end their suffering by resuming their substance abuse, they may find themselves pushed deeper into the downward spiral of active addiction.

But when a person chooses a rehab that offers a detoxification program, they can benefit from the care and supervision of a team of experienced professionals. During detox, people may receive both medical and therapeutic support. These services can ease their discomfort and keep them safe as they rid their bodies of addictive substances. Once they have completed detox, they can transfer directly into the next phase of their treatment.

How to Get Someone to Go to Rehab

Now that we’ve highlighted a few of the many reasons why a person should go to rehab, let’s focus on the main topic of today’s post: how to get someone to go to rehab.

If you’re trying to determine how to get someone to go to rehab, here are a few tips that can help:

  • Educate yourself about the disease of addiction and the types of treatment that can help your friend or family member.
  • Identify rehab centers in your area that seem to be the best fit for them.
  • Have an honest conversation with your loved one. Express your concerns, emphasize your support, and share the information you have gathered about rehab. 
  • Prepare for pushback. Don’t allow the discussion to descend into an argument. Realize that it may take several conversations to convince your loved one to go to rehab.
  • Recruit a small group of trusted friends or family members to help you. They can also talk to your loved one and help keep them safe until they choose to enter treatment.

What if Someone Refuses to Go to Rehab?

If you’ve been trying to get someone to go to rehab, but they simply refuse to do so, here are a few suggestions for what to do next:

  • Contact the treatment centers that appear to be good fits for your loved one. They will likely have had experience with treatment-resistant individuals, and they should be able to offer advice about how to get someone to go to rehab after they have refused to go.
  • Consider staging an intervention. The rehabs you contact may be able to recommend professional interventionists in your area who can help.
  • Acknowledge your limitations. You can’t control anyone but yourself. Unless your friend or family member is forced into rehab by the legal system, the decision to enter a treatment program ultimately rests with them. Do the best you can to demonstrate your support, and continue to encourage them to get help. Your loved one may not immediately respond the way you want them to, but in time they may realize that they do, indeed, need professional care.

Contact Our Rehabilitation Center in Palm Springs, CA

If someone that you care about needs professional treatment for an addiction to alcohol or other drugs, Phoenix Rising can help. Our rehab center in Palm Springs, California, offers personalized services at several levels of care, including detoxification, residential treatment, and multiple outpatient programs. Contact us today to learn more.