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How Can I Get My Addicted Family Member Into Treatment?

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

April 25, 2024

Table of Contents

Data shows that only one in ten people with addictions get the treatment they need. With 46 million U.S. adults diagnosed with substance use disorder in 2021, it is vital to learn what to do if you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse disorder.

This guide will show you how to connect your loved one with alcohol or drug addiction treatment, even if they are initially not ready to commit to recovery.

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How Can I Get My Addicted Family Member Help

Watching a loved one’s life disintegrate before your eyes is heart-rending, and this can be even tougher if you meet with denial when you broach their alcohol abuse or addiction to prescription pain relievers.

Determining when it’s time to step in and take action is not an easy decision to make, but you should prepare yourself for this.

Unfortunately, addiction remains to some extent stigmatized, even while it is now recognized as a chronic and relapsing disease.

Calling someone’s drug use into question will always be a sensitive issue, so it is vital to approach this subject very gently and supportively. Leave guilt and blame aside, focusing instead only on the issue at hand.

If you find the idea of getting someone to go to rehab overwhelming, break it down into smaller chunks, as follows:

  1. Start by discovering as much as possible about addiction
  2. Use what you have learned to establish the extent of your loved one’s addiction
  3. Stop enabling your loved one’s behaviors
  4. Encourage your loved one to get the treatment they need without applying guilt
  5. Seek outside help if required

1) Start by discovering as much as possible about addiction

Discovering how to get someone to go to rehab will be streamlined if you find out as much as you can about addiction and recovery.

Watching a loved one indiscriminately use alcohol or drugs despite obvious and mounting negative consequences can be frustrating. The better you understand the nature of addiction and the changes to the brain it brings about, the more easily you can accept that your loved one is not behaving this way through choice, even if they chose substance abuse in the first place.

Learn about the differences between inpatient rehab (best for severe addictions and co-occurring disorder) and outpatient treatment – proven just as effective as residential rehab for most mild and moderate substance use disorders.

Find out about local 12-step support groups and other relevant recovery resources.

2) Use what you have learned to establish the extent of your loved one’s addiction

You should now feel much more confident of establishing the scope and severity of your loved one’s addiction.

Getting someone into rehab might seem like an involved process and an uphill struggle, but you should be able to use what you have learned to determine whether your loved one is likely to need to pack their bags for rehab, or whether an outpatient treatment program would make better sense.

Now, since we can assume that your loved one is not yet engaging with treatment, it’s a good time to double down on stopping their substance abuse. One of the most effective ways you can do that is to stop enabling their behaviors in any way.

3) Stop enabling your loved one’s behaviors

Even if getting your loved one into rehab still seems a distant prospect, you should immediately stop enabling their behavior in any way.

Stop covering up for their behavior, refuse to make excuses on their behalf, and stop providing any funds if these are being used for drink or drugs.

Be prepared to meet resistance if you have been enabling your loved one’s addiction and stay strong. You are killing them with kindness by allowing them to continue abusing substances once addiction has set in. Be consistent, as well, or your loved one is likely to try manipulating you emotionally.

4) Encourage your loved one to get the treatment they need without applying guilt

When you address the issue of substance abuse treatment with your loved one, resist any temptation to lecture them. Don’t try to use guilt as leverage to get them the help they need either. This is not the right reason for someone to engage with addiction treatment.

If your loved one admits they have a problem and admits they need help, you can move forward by providing a robust argument for formal treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient, as the most fruitful route to recovery.

Depending on the severity of your loved one’s substance use disorder, you may also need to consider medical detox. This usually occurs at a dedicated medical detox center, and FDA-approved medications can reduce the intensity of both cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Make it clear that you are there to help them every step of the way, encouraging them without applying guilt, and without shaming them.

Now, we appreciate by no means every encounter with an addicted loved one will go that smoothly. You may try repeatedly to bring up the topic only to meet with a wall of denial, outright hostility, or both. If this happens, it’s time to look further afield.

5) Seek outside help if required

You may need some outside help to determine how to get someone into drug rehab and accept treatment when they are resistant or dismissive.

Here are some immediate options to widen the net:

  • Attend groups like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, both designed for the families of those in active addiction or recovery
  • Find online support groups
  • Connect with friends or family in long-term recovery
  • Engage with a counselor or mental health professional for yourself
  • Contact some substance use disorder treatment specialists or a health care professional

Along with seeking out drug addiction treatment options, you should also look into mental health and mental illness treatment programs. Addiction and drug abuse is often the result of underlying mental health disorders. If you are trying to seek treatment for your loved one, find a treatment center that offers dual diagnosis treatment as it will help address both physical and mental health causes of drug and alcohol addiction.

If you are not sure where to turn, reaching out to one of our addiction treatment centers can help you and other family members learn more about drug abuse and get a better understanding of the treatment process.

Can You Make a Family Member Go to Rehab?

How to get someone to go to rehab when they refuse to embrace the idea could start with an intervention. Along with other friends and family, you will confront your loved one – possibly with the help of a professional interventionist – with the aim of getting them into rehab.

In many states, California included, you could petition the court for involuntary commitment to addiction treatment so your loved one gets the help they need. This is not a seamless process and is by no means guaranteed, but involuntary treatment remains an option of last resort. Take some time to learn about the involuntary commitment laws in your state as they differ from region to region and determine if you can force someone into rehab, as it may be the only way to get the treatment process started.

Addiction Treatment at Renaissance Recovery

Choose from drug and alcohol rehab options at the following levels of intensity for your family member at Renaissance Recovery:

  • Supervised medical detox program
  • PHP (partial hospitalization program)
  • IOPs (intensive outpatient program)
  • Dual diagnosis treatment program

Whatever level of treatment intensity best suits the needs of your loved one, they can access these evidence-based and holistic interventions at Renaissance:

  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
  • Psychotherapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Experiential adventure therapy

When your loved one completes their drug or alcohol treatment program, they will leave equipped with an aftercare plan that includes relapse management strategies and access to the Renaissance alumni program. They can also take advantage of various vocational development opportunities if they need help finding employment.

Take the first crucial step by speaking with admissions at 866.330.9449.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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