At the moment, in the United States, there is an option in a select few states to force a person to undergo rehab against their will. There are certain caveats of course, one of which being that this option is only viable if a certain amount of people sign the idea of involuntary commitment. This is due to a law that allows people to petition for forced rehab if the person is a proven danger to a community.

The notion of “forced rehab” is a source of controversy in certain circles, and is not necessarily something that is permitted in the UK. However, there are many people who have recently been wondering, would this approach work in the United Kingdom; and, more importantly, does this idea actually work in the United States where precedent exists? In this blog post, we will look more fully at the overall idea of Forced Rehab.


Forced Rehab: How It Works

The process of watching a friend or family member fall prey to drug abuse or alcoholism, and the ensuing mental health complications that can present in conjunction with addiction, can be a truly painful experience. And, when you find yourself in this uncomfortable position, it is only natural that you will try and find any way to get your loved one the help they deserve. However, involuntary rehab can come with a host of complications and difficult decisions.

Families and medical professionals may request an involuntary commitment to rehab in 37 states in the USA. An ‘Emergency Drug Treatment’, as the name rings, would need to legally go past a judge who would have the final say on the emergency treatment. However, in some states, a judges order could be circumvented if the police and family can prove to the treatment facility that the person in question is indeed a danger for himself and his immediate environment.

In recent years, there has been a large number of involuntary drug treatments compared to a few decades ago. Using the State of Florida as an example, where there had been only 4,000 people who had been committed involuntarily in the year 2000, compared to the 10,000 people who have been committed involuntarily at a drug treatment facility in the state in both 2015 and 2016 thanks tot he Florida Marchman Act, according to The Recovery Village. This rising trend would logically indicate that forced drug rehab works. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Forced Rehab: The Reality

The question as to whether or not forced treatment will work is a complex matter, with varying opinions on the issue. A lot of programs subscribe to the school of thought that in order to completely recover from drug addiction or alcohol addiction, then the addict must first admit that they have a problem and need help in overcoming it.

In the instances where forced rehabs are concerned, the addict will naturally be quite combative about entering the program and in denial about the extent of their abuse and thus can’t truly start the healing process.

However, receiving the initial treatment for the purely physiological addiction, such as experiencing detoxification, can very rarely alter their denial, and thus get them fully on the path to sobriety. Sadly though, conquering the bodily side-effects of addiction rarely leads to complete recovery — due to the fact that the addict will not be curing the root psychological cause of their addiction.

According to research conducted by another American state’s governmental body, specifically, Massachusetts in the northern USA, involuntary addiction treatment will lead to nothing but worsening success rates – far from increasing the likelihood of achieving a complete recovery. The study also went on to highlight that for opioid users in rehab centres, involuntarily committed addicts were twice as likely to die as a result of an overdose in comparison with those that went into the clinic voluntarily.


Forced Rehab: Taking All The Steps

At Ocean Recovery Centre, we wholly believe that the first step of rehab is always admitting your issue. The reason for the shocking statistic mentioned earlier is that often times, involuntarily committed rehab patients do not admit to themselves they have a problem.

Once they come out of the treatment centre and start using drugs again – their tolerance is gone. In Heroin, this then leads to overdoses after using for the first time. We advise family members to keep trying to help your loved one see her/his problem before it is too late.

We understand that it is horrific to watch a loved one fall prey to a substance abuse disorder, but, on average, court-ordered forced rehab attendance is not the answer. However, we do not want you to think that all is lost.

You can call our helpline at any time and ask our staff of addiction specialists for advice on how to get your loved one the help that they need in overcoming their substance abuse disorder or alcohol abuse disorder. One of the areas that we can really help is by assisting you in putting together an intervention plan, which will hopefully be the first step on them accepting their issues and coming to terms with the need to start taking part in a recovery plan.

Once we have helped you show your loved one how to come to terms with their issues, we can then help them by administering our unique blend of psychological and physiological addiction treatments at one of our residential rehabs, and hopefully, get them enjoying a long-lasting life of sobriety before they know it.


While Forced Rehab May Not Be The Option For You Or Your Loved One, Call Us Today For A Positive, Alternative Form Of Addiction Treatment!

Are you addicted to a substance, and you have finally seen that drugs have destroyed you and everything you love? It is not too late to join a rehab centre. Call Ocean Recovery Centre today, text HELP to 83222, contact us throughout the website’s chat function or visit our Drug Addiction Page for more information.



John Gillen - Author - Last updated: December 14, 2021

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.