How to Help a Loved One into Rehab

A substance use disorder can occur when taking almost any type of drug, which includes everything from prescription medications to heroin and cocaine. If someone close to you has started taking too many drugs, it’s important to understand that all of the signs that you have noticed that point to a substance use disorder may be entirely overlooked by this individual. When you have questions about substance use disorders or want to find out more about the treatment options available to you, contact The National Rehab Hotline at 866-210-1303 for free information at any time of the day. With this hotline, you or your loved one can gain support, advice, resources, and guidance pertaining to any kind of substance use disorder.

If you suspect that a relative has started regularly taking drugs, we can help you understand the signs and symptoms that typically accompany a substance use disorder. We can also detail the difference between outpatient treatment and inpatient rehab, which is essential to understand before helping your friend or family member seek further treatment. Call the hotline today to speak with one of our knowledgeable advisors.

When a person takes too much cocaine or heroin, changes will begin to take root in his or her brain, which makes his or her body more dependent on the drug to properly function. As dependency on a drug grows, the affected individual will become less likely to admit that he or she has a problem. Whether the individual doesn’t understand the severity of the disorder or doesn’t believe that it has negatively affected them, it’s important that your loved one seeks help as quickly as possible. Long-term drug use can lead to a wide range of serious side effects that include memory loss, mood swings, and hallucinations.

The health problems that are brought about by persistent drug use can also be accompanied by financial problems, relationship problems, and being unable to complete everyday responsibilities. An effective way to mitigate the side effects and the symptoms of a substance use disorder is to obtain treatment via a rehab program. Despite the necessity of treatment, many people who are suffering from a substance use disorder refuse to enter rehab. While it can be difficult to help a loved one enter a rehab program, there are numerous steps that you can take to simplify this process and to increase the likelihood that your loved one responds positively to the idea of treatment.

What to Do When Someone Refuses to Enter Rehab

The best option when you’re trying to get your loved one to enter rehab is for him or her to do so voluntarily, which should make it easier for that individual to acclimate to the new setting. However, there’s always a chance that your loved one won’t agree to enter rehab even when his or her substance use disorder is worsening. It’s very difficult for anyone who is going through a substance use disorder to admit that there is a problem. In some situations, an involuntary commitment may be necessary.

While involuntary commitment can have some adverse effects on the individual who enters rehab, the risk can be reduced substantially by admitting the individual to a reputable facility that has delivered consistent results. It’s often better to consider involuntary commitment if the affected individual would continue to hurt himself or herself without treatment. Make sure that you look into every option before deciding on a course of action.

Host an Intervention

If you want to avoid seeking an involuntary commitment for your loved one, it’s highly recommended that you look into hosting an intervention. The purpose of an intervention is to help the affected individual admit that he or she is suffering from a substance use disorder and that treatment is necessary. If you attempt to have an informal chat with your loved one about the importance of rehab, it may be easy for him or her to brush off the conversation without taking a hard look at the situation. Interventions are more focused and structured, which increases the possibility that your loved one will finally seek help.

An intervention is a planned meeting that can involve several friends and family members. Consider seeking the assistance of an intervention professional if you want to avoid making a critical mistake while the intervention is occurring. During the intervention, everyone in attendance should confront the affected individual. This confrontation is designed to make sure that your loved one understands the consequences of continuing to take drugs without seeking treatment.

Your focus during an intervention should be to:

• Provide the individual with a structured treatment plan that includes clear goals, guidelines, and steps to following during the recovery process
• Provide precise examples of damaging behaviors by the individual and how these behaviors have impacted you and anyone else at the intervention
• Make sure that the individual understands what will happen to him or her if he or she continues taking drugs, which could involve anything from worsening health issues to severe financial problems
• Every person at the intervention should tell your loved one what he or she will do if treatment is refused

Even though you’re confronting your loved one, it’s important that you speak to the individual in a kind and loving manner. Try to avoid raising your voice or becoming too angry. However, you must still be direct about the consequences that will occur if your loved one doesn’t obtain treatment following the intervention. Once your loved one understands all of the options, he or she may be more receptive to treatment. However, interventions don’t always produce results. Even if a professional hosts the intervention for you, your loved one could still refuse help.

In this situation, it’s important that you follow through with the consequences that you spoke about during the intervention. If you told the individual that he or she would need to find another place to live if he or she didn’t attend treatment, you’ll need to follow through. If your loved one believes that he or she can continue taking drugs without any tangible consequences, he or she will almost certainly continue to avoid treatment.

Consider Involuntary Commitment

In the event that the intervention you held wasn’t successful, one option you could consider is an involuntary commitment. This option is best used if you’re confident that your loved one is a danger to others or to himself or herself as a result of the substance use disorder. At the moment, involuntary commitment is legal in 37 states.

Of these states, Montana and Rhode Island only allow involuntary commitment for alcohol use disorders. On the other hand, Vermont only allows involuntary commitment for substance use disorders. The other 34 states allow involuntary commitment for both alcohol use disorders and substance use disorders. Before you work on getting your loved one into rehab via involuntary commitment, it’s important to understand that the process for doing so differs from state to state.

In Florida, involuntary commitment is possible through the Marchman Act. In most cases, the process for having someone committed to rehab involuntarily is a lengthy one that requires you to provide ample evidence that proves that the affected individual could potentially harm himself or herself or others if treatment does not begin.

Step-By-Step Process for Getting a Loved One Into a Rehab Program

If you’d like a step-by-step approach for getting your loved one into a rehab program, the following guidelines should make it easier for you to start the process.

Step 1: Understand the Warning Signs of a Substance Use Disorder

The only way for you to help your loved one enter rehab is by first noticing that he or she is suffering from a substance use disorder. Over time, the signs and symptoms will likely become more apparent. However, identifying these symptoms early on may allow your loved one to obtain treatment before he or she experiences severe side effects from taking too many drugs. While the adverse health effects of regular drug use can differ depending on the drug, the main symptoms of a substance use disorder include:

• Increased energy and alertness
• Rambling speech
• Changes in blood pressure and heart rate
• Nausea and vomiting
• Nasal congestion
• Unexplained mood swings
• Insomnia
• Depression
• Dilated pupils

The health effects of consistent drug use aren’t always easy to notice. If your loved one is attempting to conceal a substance use disorder, there are some other behaviors that you should be on the lookout for, which include:

• Taking a higher dosage of a prescription drug
• Maintaining a drug supply
• Failing when attempting to stop taking the drug
• Being affected by adverse withdrawal symptoms after stopping use of the drug
• Spending too much money on obtaining drugs, which could result in a failure to meet financial obligations
• Failing to meet work and school responsibilities
• Becoming withdrawn and less sociable
• Hanging out with a different group of friends
• Stealing or committing similar crimes

If you happen to notice any of these behaviors or symptoms, it’s important that you speak with your loved one about entering rehab.

Step 2: Talk With Your Loved One About Rehab

When you notice some of the main signs and symptoms of a substance use disorder, it’s time to speak with your loved one about the possibility of entering rehab. If they agree to enter rehab, your next step would be to research all of the treatment options at your disposal. In the event that they say no to the idea of rehab, you may want to host an intervention.

Step 3: Consider Every Potential Treatment Option

When you’re researching different treatment options, some of the questions that you should ask yourself include:

• Is medical detoxification necessary? Will inpatient or outpatient rehab be a better solution?
• What is the length of the program?
• Where is the treatment center located?
• What kind of treatment methodology would your loved one prefer?
• Do you need to consider financing options?

For the different treatment methodologies, keep in mind that each facility or program differs in its approach. While some treatment centers take a faith-based approach to treatment, other facilities focus on providing patients with treatment for co-occurring disorders that involve mental health issues. The treatment center you choose depends on the approach that works best for your loved one.

Step 4: Speak With an Experienced Counselor or Therapist

If you’re trying to get your loved one into rehab, make sure that you have all of the details beforehand. You’ll want to work out all of the logistics for treatment financing, travel, and any other treatment details before approaching your loved one about rehab. Speak with an experienced counselor or therapist to learn more about these details and how to arrange them.

Step 5: Consider Holding an Intervention

As mentioned previously, your loved one may require an intervention to finally admit that they’re suffering from a substance use disorder. When planning an intervention, your main concern should be about how to confront your loved one without judging him or her or and without being too angry. If you decide to host an intervention, this process can go smoother if you hire an intervention professional and if you already know which rehab program your loved one will enter.

Step 6: Provide Your Loved One With Understanding and Support

In order for your loved one to enter rehab without being committed involuntarily, it’s important that you show this individual that you love him or her, support him or her, and understand what he or she is going through. You should take the same approach when your loved one starts treatment. Whenever you have the opportunity to speak with the individual, positive reinforcement can go a long way toward keeping your loved one focused on the benefits of recovery.

Step 7: Look Into Aftercare Options

The recovery process doesn’t end once your loved one completes a rehab program. In the immediate days and weeks following treatment, your loved one will be tasked with re-entering the real world and dealing with many of the responsibilities that may have caused him or her to take drugs in the first place. Along with the support that you and other family members provide to this individual, you might also want to look into an aftercare program, which could involve anything from individual counseling to group therapy.

Call The National Rehab Hotline today at 866-210-1303 if you have any questions about substance use disorders or the resources that will help you get sober.

How to Help a Loved One in a Mental Health Crisis

When a loved one appears to be spiraling into a mental health crisis, it can be difficult to know what to do to help. Fortunately, you have several places to turn in order to ask for the help that you need. A good first place to start is by calling The National Rehab Hotline at 866-210-1303. The specialist you speak with will point you in the right direction toward what you should do next.

Is Your Loved One Experiencing a Crisis?

Your loved one may be having a difficult time right now because he or she is experiencing a mental health crisis, which is common when someone has been diagnosed with a mental disorder. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that 10% of patients will be readmitted to a psychiatric hospital within one month of being released, and another 20% will be readmitted within six months.

When someone is experiencing a mental health crisis, it is difficult for him or her to cope during times of stress, shame, grief, or guilt. If a person also has a substance use disorder, he or she may begin to use the drug of choice again.

If your loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can recognize it in the following signs:

• Anxiety
• Depression
• Apathy
• Alcohol or drug use
• Lack of sleep
• Denial
• Grief
• Isolation
• Fights with others
• Irritability
• Inability to concentrate
• Feelings of hopelessness
• Lack of appetite

What Are Mental Health Triggers?

Not all mental health crises begin with a trigger, but in many cases, a deep decline in mental health can be triggered by a particularly troubling event. Such events can include:

• Difficulties parenting children
• Refusals to take medications for mental disorders
• Substance use or alcohol use disorder
• An upsetting event or troublesome news
• Loss of the support of family members
• Diagnosis of an illness
• Financial difficulties
• Stress at work or at home

Get a Mental Health Assessment

If your loved one has never been diagnosed with a mental disorder before, you may need to be the one to take them for a mental health assessment. You can make an appointment with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or family doctor to find out if your loved one has a mental illness for which they can receive treatment.

It is true that everyone can feel down at times, but the crisis that your loved one is going through may be more than just the regular ups and downs of life. The depression or the anxiety that he or she is experiencing may be getting in the way of living a normal, happy life; if this is the case, you must help the individual take control of it. According to the research, early intervention is more likely to lead to a complete recovery.

What Does a Mental Health Assessment Entail?

Your loved one will need to submit to a physical examination because some illnesses can cause symptoms similar to those of certain mental illnesses. During the examination, the doctor will take blood work for the purpose of diagnosing any illness. Your loved one will also need to be prepared to be honest about any drug or alcohol use.

The physician will ask questions about the history of the mental disorder. For example, how long has he or she been experiencing symptoms, and does the person have a family or personal history of mental illness? Lastly, the physician will want to know about your loved one’s personal history and whether or not he or she is under any stress.

During the mental evaluation, the physician will ask your loved one about his or her feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. The physician will ask how your loved one manages symptoms and what makes him or her feel better or worse. The doctor will also observe your loved one’s outward appearance.

During the cognitive evaluation, the doctor will determine whether your loved one is thinking clearly, can remember information, and can use mental reasoning. Your loved one may need to demonstrate an ability to perform math problems or to recognize shapes. Lastly, the individual may be asked to describe the day and explain whether he or she having difficulties caring for himself or herself.

If you believe that your loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, it is your duty to address this issue with him or her. Let your loved one know that you are concerned and that you will help in any way you can. If the person is not receptive to your overtures, know that you cannot force them to do anything. If you believe that your loved one may harm himself or herself, you should call the suicide prevention hotline.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free service that is available to help prevent suicide 24 hours a day. Trained hotline operators will offer you resources designed to help your loved one. They can also point you in the direction of the most appropriate professionals for your needs. You can be assured that the counselors will maintain confidentiality, so contact them if you are concerned about your loved one. If you believe that substance abuse is playing a role in your loved one’s crisis, you can also call The National Rehab Hotline for help exploring local resources for recovery.

What Is a Crisis Intervention?

A crisis intervention is a tactic that you can use to address your loved one if he or she is experiencing emotional, behavioral, physical or mental distress. The intervention has the very important role of restoring your loved one’s equilibrium and preventing continuous mental distress.

Trained crisis counselors conduct these interventions, which can occur anywhere it would be most comfortable for you and the target of the intervention. The intervention will not be a time when your loved one will receive counseling for his or her mental disorder or substance disorder. An intervention will give your loved one the immediate assistance he or she needs and knowledge of the resources that can help the individual move through this crisis. In the process, he or she may feel more stable and will know that he or she has your support.

Who Are Crisis Intervention Professionals?

An intervention might require the help of several professionals. These may include doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers, psychologists, counselors, and psychiatrists. The intervention that you stage for a loved one experiencing a mental health crisis will require the assistance of a certified crisis intervention counselor. A certified crisis intervention counselor will be instrumental in helping your loved one feel stable again after experiencing strong emotions that a difficult event may have caused.

You must be prepared for your intervention to last several hours, and you may need to meet with the counselor more than one time. These sessions have been known to last for several weeks when the patient’s condition was particularly troubled.

What If a Mental Health Crisis and a Substance Use Disorder Occur Together?

If your loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis at the same time that he or she is also struggling with a substance use disorder, crisis intervention would be warranted. Your loved one may have returned to drug use as a way of treating a mental health disorder. Even if he or she does not have a substance use disorder, your loved one may turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with the emotional and physical distress he or she may be experiencing.

The time to stage an intervention is before a substance use spirals out of control. Your loved one may not be addicted to drugs or alcohol yet, so it is imperative that you act quickly. An intervention will teach your loved one how he or she can cope effectively with a mental disorder so that the alcohol or drug use doesn’t turn into a substance use disorder.

If your loved one is using drugs or drinking to the point at which it is causing very serious harm, this is the time for an intervention. The fact that a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder are troubling your loved one at the same time makes this a particularly dangerous situation.

What Is a Crisis Assessment?

Before you can perform an intervention, you need to perform an assessment of the situation. A mental health counselor will interview the patient and ask questions about his or her past history of mental health crises. Your loved one will need to tell the counselor how long he or she has been experiencing these crises and how he or she is affected emotionally.

The counselor will do several assessments to ensure that the intervention runs smoothly. The first thing the counselor will want to do is determine what condition the patient is in so that professionals can develop the appropriate treatment plan.

The second thing that your counselor will do is perform a crisis assessment. The counselor will ask about your loved one’s experiences during his or her crises. The counselor will make a cultural assessment and a social assessment to determine how much stress your loved one is under, the problems he or she is experiencing, and how severe the crisis seems to be.

The Seven-Stage Crisis Intervention Model

One example of a crisis intervention is the seven-stage crisis intervention model. This model was created to be a guide that people can follow toward resolving crisis situations. It is also known as the Assessment, Crisis, Intervention, Trauma, Treatment Model. The seven stages are:

1. Perform a biopsychological/imminent danger assessment.
2. Quickly develop a trusting relationship with the participants.
3. Explain what occurred that brought everyone to the point of needing an intervention.
4. Help everyone to examine his or her emotions and feelings.
5. Explore new ways of coping with stresses and anxieties.
6. Bring everyone back to a functional place by creating a plan of action.
7. Schedule your next sessions.

What If Your Loved One Refuses to Get Help?

Interventions don’t always work. Sometimes, people are extremely stubborn, and they refuse to admit that there is a problem. Their conditions may cause them to lash out when people are only trying to help. In such cases, you must determine whether or not your loved one is a danger to his or her own safety or to others. If so, you should call emergency services.

What Is Involuntary Civil Commitment?

In the event that you cannot leave your loved one alone, you may be forced to consider involuntary civil commitment. Involuntary civil commitment is another form of intervention, but this one involves a judge. The judge may order your loved one to be confined to a facility if he or she is exhibiting symptoms of a serious mental disorder. The judge can also order your loved one to enter into an outpatient treatment program for a period of time.

Call Emergency Services

If your loved one is experiencing a mental health emergency that threatens anyone’s safety, you cannot wait. You must call 911. If you are afraid of your loved one or if your loved one hurt somebody, you need to call the authorities. If you notice that your loved one is unable to care for himself or herself as in the past, it is time to call. Your loved one may become destructive and damage property, or you may believe that your loved one will hurt someone if left alone. These are the times when it is imperative that you contact emergency services for your loved one.

Even if your loved one’s mental health has not reached a critical breaking point, you may feel alone and struggle to find help. Rest assured that you can reach out to The National Rehab Hotline at 866-210-1303 for assistance.