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Can You Put Someone in Rehab Against their Will?

Can you make a loved one understand that they’re in grave danger? Can you put someone in rehab against their will?

Knowing that someone you care about has become trapped in the downward spiral of addiction can be devastating. You know your loved one is in pain. You’re afraid they may be experiencing irreparable harm. But you may have no idea how to help them.

Can You Put Someone in Rehab Against Their Will?

Tennessee does have a judicial process for having someone committed to a treatment facility against their will. This means that there is a legal way that you can make someone go to rehab. However, the process is not simple.

Involuntary commitments to residential mental health treatment facilities in Tennessee are covered in Chapter 6, Part 5, of the Tennessee Code. The Code’s definition of mental illness includes addiction to alcohol and other drugs, so the information in that section can help you determine if you can make someone go to rehab.

The Process of Involuntary Commitment in Tennessee

First, only certain people can start the process of getting a court order for involuntary commitment to a treatment facility.

To file a complaint with the Tennessee court system for the purpose of making someone go to rehab, you must be the person’s parent, spouse, legal guardian or custodian, conservator, or relative who is responsible for their care. Doctors and certain other professionals may also file a complaint.

You also must have two certificates of need, either from two doctors or from a doctor and a psychiatrist. These certificates must provide clear evidence that the person meets all four of the following criteria for involuntary commitment:

  • The person has a mental illness or serious emotional disturbance.
  • The person poses a substantial likelihood of serious harm because of the mental illness or serious emotional disturbance.
  • The person needs care, training, or treatment because of the mental illness or serious emotional disturbance.
  • All available less drastic alternatives to placement in a hospital or treatment resource are unsuitable to meet the person’s needs.

TN Code Chapter 6, Part 5, also addresses a variety of other factors related to involuntary commitment, including the type of a facility a person can be required to attend and the criteria that must be met before the person can be released to outpatient programming.

Forcing someone to get help may be a last resort. Before it comes to this, though, you have several options. Instead of asking yourself if you can make someone go to rehab, start thinking about how you can convince your loved one that rehab is the right place for them.

How Can I Convince Someone to Go to Rehab in Tennessee?

Friend wondering if you Can Put Someone in Rehab Against Their Will

Persuading someone to enter a rehab program may not be easy, but it is possible. It can also be extremely beneficial. 

Don’t believe the myth that a person has to hit rock bottom before they benefit from treatment. People who need to be convinced to enter rehab can, and do, have successful experiences.

Here are a few steps that can help you connect your loved one with the care they need:

  • Educate yourself about addiction, treatment, and recovery. This will help you understand what your loved one is going through. It will also help you identify the treatment options that may be best for your friend or family member.
  • Contact rehab facilities and other treatment providers. These sources can provide you with valuable information about their programming and services. They may also offer advice about how to help someone who is hesitant about entering a rehab program.
  • Talk to your loved one. Even more importantly, listen to them. Express your concerns and share the information you’ve gathered. Be sure to let them know they have your support. Deciding to enter rehab can take time. Keep the lines of communication open and expect to have more than one discussion about this important topic.

Depending on your relationship with the person who needs help, you should also consider seeing a therapist or counselor yourself. The impact of addiction extends far beyond the person who has developed the disorder. You can’t provide the most meaningful support for your loved one if you are neglecting your own mental health needs.

Can an Intervention Make Someone Go to Rehab?

If your knowledge of interventions is limited to what you’ve seen on TV or in the movies, you may have a skewed perspective about this process. Remember: Even so-called “reality” shows can be staged and edited to emphasize conflicts, arguments, and other sources of drama. 

Difficulties may arise during an intervention, but it’s important to understand that the goal of the process is not to create a tension-filled environment. 

During an intervention, you and the other participants will share your concerns with your loved one. You will also express how you have been impacted by your loved one’s struggles with addiction. Hopefully, hearing statements like this from several friends and family members will convince your loved one that it’s time for them to enter rehab. 

In other words, a successful intervention doesn’t end with a person being dragged off rehab. Instead, it provides the person with incontrovertible evidence that they need help, so they will finally agree to enter treatment.

Please note that this is an extremely brief overview of what an intervention is and isn’t. If you think someone in your life can benefit from an intervention, it’s important to thoroughly research this process. You may even want to include a professional to help you plan and conduct an effective intervention.

Premier Addiction Rehab in Nashville, Tennessee

If someone in your life has become addicted to alcohol or another drug, you are right to be concerned about their continued well-being. Thankfully, addiction is a treatable condition. When your loved one gets the type and level of care they need, their life can improve significantly. Arbor Wellness is a trusted provider of addiction rehab services in Nashville, Tennessee. Contact us today to learn how we can help.