How To Get Someone Into Rehab For Drug and Alcohol Abuse or Addiction

Guild for family and friends on how to convince a loved one to go to drug or alcohol rehabilitation center

Knowing how to get someone into rehab for alcohol or drug abuse or addiction is very important.

An annual survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration( SAMHSA), estimates that in 2014 over 23 million Americans adults 18 and over suffered from substance use disorders from the past year. And only about 2.5 million of those people received treatment from a specialized facility.

SAMHSA also reported that in 2015, 15.1 million adults ages 18 and older had alcohol use disorder and only about 6.7 percent of those received treatment.

You see not everyone that is addicted or abusing alcohol or illicit drug is getting help and some of them are people who don’t want to get help. 

Some of these people do not believe that they need help, in this case, you need to learn how to convince them to go to rehab. And to be honest, convincing a substance abuser or addict to go to rehab is not easy.

So in this article, we will share with you some helpful information about addictions, rehab, and ideas on how to get someone into rehab for drug and alcohol that might be helpful to you.

 Substance use, abuse, and addiction are different

It is can be difficult to talk to someone about substance issues, especially trying to get them into rehab without understanding some of the meaning and the difference between substance use, abuse, and addiction.

The more you understand the different meanings the easier it is to seek appropriate help and convince them to get that help.  Understanding the differences can also help you with how to get someone into rehab creatively.

Substance use: This is when someone just uses substances for recreational or medical purposes. However, substance use for just simple recreational or medical purposes can lead to abuse and addiction.

Substance abuse: Even though the difference between substance abuse and addiction may be blurred and people use them interchangeably, the two are not the same. Someone with substance abuse can still function at work and in their relationships. It is said that at this stage, the substance has not taken over the person’s life and that he or she is still in control unlike someone with an addiction problem.

Substance addiction: This is a compulsory use of alcohol or drug without caring about the harm. The body and mind become dependent on the substance in question. At this stage, the person will have withdrawal if they stop using the substance. The person with substance addiction is willing to lose their job, friends, and do anything for the substance. Their brain is rewired by the substance and they lose control. This is why drug and alcohol addiction is recognized as a chronic brain disease.

Rehabilitation defined

Part of learning how to get someone into rehab is also really understanding what rehab truly is and how these rehabs work

So what is substance rehabilitation? Rehab is a substance use disorder treatment program for people who have already gone through detox and are looking to be substance use free.

Please understand that substance detoxification is not a rehab. Detox is just the first step to a successful rehab.

So just getting an alcohol or drug detox doesn’t mean that you have gotten treatment.

The benefits of drug and alcohol rehab

There are many benefits to professional rehab. These are the benefits of why someone should check into rehab centers:

  • They offer a structured environment and treatment plans
  • They offer and guide one to the right aftercare programs
  • They offer therapeutic intervention
  • Withdrawal management
  • Family therapy
  • Peer support
  • Therapeutic amenities
  • They offer skill training
  • They provide medical assistance

Signs that it is time for a rehab facility help

Even though, it is recommended to seek professional intervention for someone before their substance use becomes an addiction the below are signs that it is really time to get that someone into rehab immediately:

  • Neglecting their hygiene.
  • Willing to engage in sexual and other criminal activities to get the fund to buy the substance.
  • Neglecting work, school, and other responsibilities for drugs or alcohol.
  • Selling or trading their personal belongings or their child to get the fund for the substance of choice.
  • Continuous relapse.
  • Tried to stop using the substance of choice but can’t.

Treatment center types(inpatient vs outpatient vs partial hospitalization vs intensive outpatient )

For those that need rehab for drug and alcohol abuse or addiction, there are different options for rehab centers available.

Understanding and familiarizing yourself with some type of substance use disorder treatment facilities can help you be able to explain and convince a loved one to get into rehab. Here are some of them:

Inpatient/residential facilities: This is the program where the patient lives in, gets monitored 24/7 and received their treatment in the same facility. It is a fulltime treatment.

Partial hospitalization: The partial hospitalization program is a full-time program where the patient visits the treatment center for rehab but goes home after each treatment.

Intensive outpatient: This is sort of a part-time program but where the patient stays at home but visits a facility for treatment.

Outpatient facilities: This is a part-time program but typically now as intense at the intensive outpatient program(IOP). The pay also does not live at the facility for the duration of the treatment. This is considered more of a continuous or aftercare program.

Treatment duration program options

There are different treatment duration lengths for those dealing with alcohol or drug abuse or addiction.

There are long and short term options.

For the long term treatment you have:

For the short term treatment you have:

So how do you get someone into rehab for drug or alcohol problems?

When it comes to getting an addict into a rehab facility, there few options available to friends and family to use to get their loved one into a treatment center for help. The most popular options are:

  • Intervention plans: What is an alcohol and drug intervention? An intervention is a planned process with friends and family members in consultation with an interventionist professional or a doctor to get someone into treatment.
  • Involuntary commitment: Involuntary commitment or court-ordered rehab uses legal pressure to get someone into addiction treatment.

Really understanding how to get someone into rehabilitation using any of the two mentioned options is essential is making them work. Below we will go into more details on how each option works.

How to get someone into rehab using intervention plans

Family and friends are usually the first ones to intervene when a loved one is dealing with a drug or alcohol problem.

Sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t. This is why having a well thought out intervention plan is very essential.

It is typically recommended that your intervention plan include an interventionist, doctor or clinician, therapists et cetera.

However,  if you do decide to have an intervention your own without the help of a rehab interventionist, here are some tips that could help run it effectively:

  • Pick a specific time and place for the intervention.
  • Have a specific plan.
  • Rehearse with other people who will be part of the intervention what to say and when to say it.
  • Be specific on destructive behaviors and give examples during the intervention meeting.
  • Learn and educate yourself about the basics of how addiction affects the brain and take over so you can explain to them why they need help.
  • Learn about rehab, program options, and how rehab work so you can educate them so that they understand that rehab is not that bad as some people think. If they have questions knowing these will help you answer them too.
  • Have a plan in place on what to do next if the substance addict or abuser refuses treatment.
  • Include someone they respect and trust as part of the meeting.
  • Do not tell them what the meeting is about.

How to get someone into substance use disorder treatment using court-ordered rehab

Getting to someone into rehab using involuntary commitment or court-orders is another option available when a loved one refuses to seek help for their misuse or addiction problems.

The involuntary commitment option comes with a lot of controversies as some people wonder whether or not forcing someone into rehab through a legal pressure will motivate them to complete the rehab?

Well, according to this literature titled Does Mandate Offenders to Treatment Improve Completion Rates? published on PubMed Central(PMC) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM),  recent studies have shown that those who had legal pressure stayed in rehab longer than those without legal pressures.

Even though a court-ordered rehab is a long and tedious process, it can be effective in getting people into treatment.

Please, be aware that it is also not allowed in all states.

Some states only allow it as part of a criminal sentencing option (choose an intervention or go to jail) while others allow it without it being tied to a criminal issue.

According to a Medscape article, research presented at the 2011 American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting quotes the study’s lead author, Debra A. Pinals, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, as stating “We found that most states, about 38 jurisdictions, permit some form of involuntary substance abuse treatment separate from any kind of criminal issues under their civil statutes.”

As several studies including the one we mentioned have shown, involuntary commitment can produce a positive outcome for a lot of people after rehab.

So this should be an option to seriously consider when it comes to ways to get a loved one into alcohol or drug rehabilitation.

Please speaks to a lawyer about this option further to see if it is allowed in your state and other important details.

Why is convincing someone to enter rehab so hard

There are many reasons why convincing someone to enter rehab is hard. One of the reasons is that addicts or those who abuse drugs or alcohol are typically in denial.

They refuse to see that they have a problem that needs urgent intervention.

Another reason is that people just do not understand how rehabs work. They think it is a place like they see in movies.

Another reason why it is difficult to get someone into rehab is how the intervention is done. This is why a professional rehab interventionist is recommended to help with the planning for s successful intervention.

Recap and other things to keep in mind on how to get someone into a rehab facility

Here are a recap and other things to keep in mind while trying to get a loved one into rehab for substance use disorder:

  • Educated yourself about substance use, abuse, and addictions
  • Learn about rehab and the different treatment facilities and program options
  • Learn about the different ways to get someone into rehab
  • Don’t be judgment
  • Be understanding
  • Don’t get emotional
  • Show some patience
  • Get help yourself to deal with the stress, frustration, and emotions of trying to convince one to get treatment facility help
  • Seek professional help with court-ordered rehab and intervention plans
  • Even though you can show patient but get them into a treatment program as soon as possible

A professional can help you with alcohol and drug addiction or abuse

As we mentioned earlier knowing how to get someone into rehab who doesn’t want to go is very important. But sometimes we can try some of the steps and we will still fail in making that impact on getting a loved one into treatment.

So why not seek professional help? Substance use disorder rehab professionals can help you and your family to get someone into rehab.

Getting someone into rehab for drug and alcohol problems can be tough so why not seek help from addiction treatment centers. 

Rehab facilities typically know interventionists who can help in convincing someone that it is time to check into rehab.

So call 866-579-8780 now to be connected with an outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation facility to weigh treatment options. 

The call is free and speaking to someone doesn’t come with any obligation or a cost to you. So contact now!


How does a typical intervention work with an intervention professional?

Typically an interventionist comes up with a plan that includes the family and loved one. They will set a meeting where the substance abuser or addict and the family will meet.

Gather information about those that will be at the meeting.

They will structure the meeting in such a way that everyone is heard. They will come up with plans such as who will say what and when.

How much does an interventionist cost for drug and alcohol rehab intervention?

The cost of alcohol or drug intervention specialist varies from location to location and individual to individual.

With that said a professional intervention may cost you anywhere between $2000 to $10,000.

Some specialists may charge lower or higher.





Updated on May 21st, 2023