Once you have found the treatment center that seems to best fit the needs for your loved one (or at least the top three choices), the next thing to do is to get them to agree to get help. This can sometimes be the most difficult step, as there are all sorts of barriers that could be in the way.

Common Objections to Getting Help

– “I can stop any time, it’s not as bad as you think.”

– “I can’t go away to treatment, I have to work.”

– “My family needs me.”

– “I don’t need treatment, I just need to get past this situation in my life.”

There are endless “reasons” that people who need help come up with in their minds. However, if their use is causing accidents, health problems, relationship problems, difficulty at work, financial problems or other forms of despair, something has to change.

Initially people may be very resistant to inpatient treatment. Sometimes you can then get them to agree to try outpatient treatment first, with the understanding that if they are unable to show improvement then they will go a higher level of care if needed, including based on recommendations of the treatment staff at the intensive outpatient program. It is also true that not everyone who needs treatment must go to a residential facility.

For those who are completely resistive to treatment there are other options, such as bringing in a professional interventionist. While we have all likely heard of the Intervention TV show, few people can accurately describe what an effective intervention looks like or should be composed of. Interventions are not about forcing people into treatment, they are about helping to find systematic solutions that the family members are facing, which includes treatment for all those in need. However, when approaches like an invitational model are not working, then there are other methods that can be used, including involuntary commitment when the person is an immediate threat to themselves and/or others.

Treatment Isn’t Always Voluntary At First

When more severe forms of interventions are required, such as an involuntary commitment for evaluation or the result of law enforcement, these present an opportunity for the individual to sober up and hopefully get a new perspective. Often, the longer a person is able to abstain, the greater chance for treatment to be effective in changing their habits and behavioral patterns to refocus on healthier activities and productivity.