Can You Force Someone to Go to Rehab in California

Alcoholism and drug addiction are becoming increasingly common in the United States. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 48.7 million people struggled with addiction in 2022.

If your loved one struggles with addiction, you are not alone. Watching someone you love abuse substances and avoid treatment is never easy. You might find yourself feeling hopeless and wondering what you can do to help them.

If this sounds familiar, you do have options. When your loved one is in desperate need of help but cannot accept it on their own, it might be time to consider involuntary commitment. Involuntary commitment is the act of forcing a loved one to go to rehab.

37 states have involuntary commitment laws, allowing people like you to help their loved ones attain sobriety. If you are wondering whether you can force someone into rehab in California, the short answer is yes. With that being said, there are some steps you will have to take to begin the process of court-ordered rehab.

What States Allow You to Force Someone to Go to Rehab?

While 10% of Americans struggle with an addiction, 75% of them never receive substance abuse treatment. Because it is so common for people struggling with addiction to avoid getting the help they need, many states have laws that allow their loved ones to force them into rehab.

The states that allow you to involuntarily commit your loved one to an addiction treatment center include:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • Missouri
  • Minnesota
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Each state has its own set of rules, regulations, and processes that family members must follow to obtain involuntary treatment for their loved ones.

Additionally, it is important to note that involuntary commitment works for both addiction and mental health treatment. If your loved one has both a mental illness and an addiction, you should contact a medical professional to determine whether dual diagnosis rehab is the right fit.

How Does Involuntary Commitment Work?

While every state is different, most states follow the same general process for forcing your loved one to go to rehab. States enforce rules for involuntary commitment to ensure that the laws are not abused and the people entering treatment truly need it.

If you are hoping to involuntarily commit your loved one, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Your loved one is posing a threat to themselves or others
  • Alcoholism or drug addiction has rendered them physically or mentally disabled
  • Your loved one is not able to make informed decisions for themselves
  • Your loved one cannot meet their own basic needs
  • They are experiencing a total loss of control due to their substance use disorder

If your loved one meets the above-mentioned criteria, you can likely force them to attend treatment. That said, the process of involuntary commitment can be complicated, as it must go through the legal system. As a result, you should only force your loved one into rehab if it is your last chance.

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Force Your Loved One into Treatment?

Deciding whether to involuntarily commit your loved one can be difficult. Sometimes, forcing someone into treatment can push them farther away from you, making them less likely to trust you in the future. You should never take this decision lightly.

If you are going to force your loved one into drug rehab, it should be a last resort. This means you have tried every other option available and your loved one is in danger without treatment. For example, tactics like drug and alcohol interventions should be attempted before you involuntarily commit someone.

The signs that your loved one requires involuntary commitment include:

  • Your loved one is getting into dangerous situations while under the influence
  • You have tried to convince your loved one to get help with no success
  • Your loved one is experiencing serious health emergencies due to their addiction, such as life-threatening overdoses
  • Drug or alcohol abuse is causing your loved one to experience significant psychological harm, such as psychosis or other mental health concerns
  • You are worried that if your loved one does not receive help now, their addiction will cause life-threatening effects

Understanding California’s Inpatient Commitment Law

California does allow you to force your loved one into an addiction treatment facility. However, they have a set of rules and procedures that must be followed to ensure the process is not abused.

The first rule is that anyone who is being involuntarily committed must pose a direct threat to themselves or others. The other rules for forcing someone into rehab in California include:

  • Your loved one must be assessed by an addiction specialist who agrees that their substance use disorder is causing them to be a danger to themselves
  • The treatment center must agree to treat your loved one immediately
  • Your loved one must have been notified about their treatment and refused to attend due to their substance use disorder

If your loved one does not meet this criteria, there are ways to obtain court-mandated outpatient treatment. Instead of your loved one living inside of the addiction treatment program, they will attend sessions a few times per week.

The criteria for court-mandated outpatient treatment include:

  • Your loved one is 18 or older
  • They suffer from a mental illness (including substance use disorder)
  • A professional has assessed your loved one and found that they are not able to survive safely without supervision and treatment
  • Their substance use disorder and overall health have been deteriorating over time
  • Your loved one needs and will benefit from outpatient treatment
  • They have a history of refusing treatment for their substance use disorder
  • Your loved one’s addiction has required hospitalization within the last 36 months or has caused them to behave harmfully to themselves or others within the last 48 month

Find Help for an Addicted Loved One Today

If your loved one refuses to get help for their addiction and is in the process of being involuntarily committed, Invigorate Behavioral Health is here to help. Our Los Angeles addiction treatment center uses evidence-based treatments to resolve substance use disorders. We also take a compassionate approach to make your loved one feel comfortable with our process.

Contact us today for more information on our addiction treatment options.

Our Admissions Coordinators are Available 24/7

Start your journey toward healing today by speaking with one of our dedicated admissions coordinators. We’re eager to help you begin your recovery.

Call (323) 900-5041

Leave Your Details

Let us know how to get back to you.

    Get confidential help 24/7.

    Call us today to discuss your treatment options. All calls are risk-free and 100% confidential.

    Call (323) 900-5041