Forcing People Into Rehab – Is it Worth It?

There is a common misconception that unless someone goes to rehab completely on their own, it will not help them.  While it’s true that people with the greatest chance for success are those who are committed to changing their life, but does that mean that it is a waste of time to force someone into rehab?

There are many people out there who are clearly struggling with addiction, but refuse to seek treatment or even admit that they have a problem.

This is a devastating position for their friends and family to be in.  They know that their loved one needs treatment, but they feel powerless because they have heard over and over that forcing someone into rehab doesn’t help.

They feel like their hands are completely tied and they have no option but to continue to watch the downward spiral that frequently accompanies alcohol and drug abuse

If you are in this position, you will be happy to know that there CAN still be a benefit to sending someone to rehab even though they don’t want to go.

Forced Entry into a Rehab

The reality is that that largest number of people in rehab are not there because they volunteered for treatment.  The top two reasons for people to be there include:

  • Friends and family convinced them to go
  • They were ordered by the court

There are also ways for a third party to have someone sent to a rehab facility, although the rules for this vary a great deal by state.

Clearly some of the people who didn’t volunteer for rehab are receiving benefits from attending.  Studies have even been done to back this up.  Although there is no guarantee that it will work (although there never is, even if they voluntarily commit), sometimes it CAN be helpful to send someone to rehab against their wishes.

Even though the addict didn’t initially want to enter the treatment facility, sometimes going through the process can help them accept the fact that they do have a problem and they do need help.

Another consideration is the reality is that some people will need to attend rehab multiple times before they are really able to truly commit to living a sober lifestyle.

Most people who have been to rehab multiple times talk about how they picked up something from each stint that helped them in a little way.  Although it wasn’t successful in getting them to really commit to changing their lives, it did provide them with pieces of information about alcohol, their addiction or themselves that helped them get closer to sobriety.

If you have to force them into rehab, and they don’t finish the treatment, or it doesn’t work, it can still help them get one step closer to the time when it will work for them and they will be able to change their life.

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