Should Drug Addicts Be Forced Into Treatment?

When you care about a drug addict, you might feel like you would do anything to get them sober. Knowing that their beautiful and loving personality still exists beneath a haze of drugs is frustrating, and you may fear that they’ll never accept the need for treatment as long as they are held under the influence of their addiction. People often wonder should drug addicts be forced into treatment, and you’ll hear this topic debated among many people in the addiction treatment community. After all, there is some truth to the idea that a person might not get sober when they are rarely able to think rationally due to the chemical changes that keep occurring in their brain. Figuring out the best way to get your loved one into treatment requires taking a careful look at all of the factors that influence their situation.

In Florida, the Marchman Act is available to help people who are unable to see past the reactions their mind has to drugs and accept the need for help. This is only a temporary measure that allows for the involuntary or voluntary assessment and stabilization of someone whose loved ones act on their behalf to get them into a treatment center. For some families, this method works. Your loved one may need to be nudged into a treatment center if they exhibit these characteristics.

• They’ve had an overdose in the past and started using again
• They have other mental health conditions that put their safety at risk
• They’ve exhibited violent behaviors towards you, others or themselves
• They are using toxic drugs in extremely high dosages
• Their behavior puts their life at risk in any other way

Forcing someone into treatment can sometimes backfire. After all, the best way to get someone to stay sober is to find a way to get them to buy into the need for treatment. However, taking an emergency action to at least get them into a treatment center might be necessary to save their life and help them clear their head enough to begin to see the truth behind what everyone keeps trying to tell them.

Learn How to Get Your Loved One to Accept the Need for Help

In the ideal scenario, you won’t have to go so far as to force your loved one into a treatment program. Getting them on board with going to treatment saves valuable time since they’ll have already worked through the early stages of denial and rebellion. This method still requires some work and patience since many addicts do not want to get help the first time they hear someone suggest going to rehab.

Hosting an intervention is a common way to get someone to go to treatment. Your intervention can involve just you and another trusted family member or friend. Or, you might want to involve a professional counselor, doctor or other neutral party. The point of the intervention is to let your loved one know that everyone is worried about their health and safety. While you don’t want to tear them down, you can also share how their drug habits are impacting everyone else’s life. The most effective interventions also involve making it clear that you and everyone else will no longer tolerate their behavior. This means ending any enabling actions on your part. For instance, you can cut off their access to money that they use to buy drugs. You might even have to tell them to find somewhere else to live. At first, this might be very difficult to do, and you may even feel a sense of guilt. Try to remember that addicts sometimes need hard rules that make it tougher for them to keep using drugs. With time, your loved one may just decide that they’d rather go to treatment than sleep on the street or beg for money from other people.

Whether you force your loved one into rehab or try to let them make up their own mind, you’ll want to already have a place in mind for them to get help. Being able to explain to them the benefits of a specific treatment program helps them to mentally prepare for entering sobriety. When your loved one knows that you took the time to research a program, they’ll be more likely to feel like they are in a trustworthy place that can help them overcome their addiction.

Are you done with watching drugs destroy the life of someone that you care about? We’ve got ways to help you get them into treatment. Call our counselors at 833-846-5669 to find out what you need to do to get your loved one’s life back.