How to Convince an Addicted Loved One to Go to Rehab - ARISE

How Do I Convince an Addicted Loved One to Get Professional Help?

Addiction’s impact can be felt in all aspects of a person’s life. When a person lives with substance abuse or addiction, their mental and physical health may suffer. The addiction may lead to lost jobs, financial difficulties, or legal complications.

Relationship strain is one of the most profound effects of addiction. People living with addiction can sometimes act in ways that push away their friends and family members. Loved ones may also get worn out from the stress and frustration of watching someone succumb to addiction.

If you have a loved one who lives with addiction, you likely understand the desire to help them get the treatment they need to recover. But what can you do to convince an addicted loved one to go to rehab and get professional help? In many cases, people with addiction may be in denial that they need treatment. It can be challenging to reach them and get them to see they have a problem.

We’ve put together a guide to getting your addicted loved one to go to rehab. For more information, contact the caring specialists at Arise Treatment Center today.

Recognizing the Signs of Addiction

Recognizing the symptoms of addiction is the first step in convincing someone to get treatment.  Sometimes, you may realize that a loved one is abusing substances immediately. In other cases, recognizing their substance abuse issues may take a long time.

Some of the signs of addiction include:

  • Lying or being secretive about their substance abuse
  • Falling behind at work or in their responsibilities at home
  • Changes in their mood, sleep, or appearance
  • Spending a lot of time thinking about the substance
  • Time and energy spent getting, using, or recovering from using the substance
  • Financial or legal difficulties
  • Injuries related to their substance use
  • Developing tolerance–needing more of the substance to get the same effects

Recognizing these symptoms could indicate that your loved one requires treatment to overcome substance abuse or addiction.

Steps to Take to Convince an Addicted Loved One to Go to Rehab

It can be challenging to convince someone to seek addiction treatment. You can take steps to help an addicted loved one go to rehab.

1. Educate yourself about addiction

The more you understand the addiction issue, the better you will be able to support a loved one during their journey. Read books or articles about addiction and recovery, learn about local treatment options, or join support groups like Al-Anon.

2. Plan an intervention

An intervention is a carefully planned event where family members and other loved ones gather to try to convince their addicted loved one to accept professional help. Interventions have a high success if a professional interventionist organizes them.

3. Choose the Right Time

When left untreated, addiction can be life-altering or fatal. It is important to act quickly, but you must also seek the support and assistance you need during the process.

The more practical and emotional support you can offer them, the more likely you will convince your loved one to go to rehab.

Holding an Intervention to Convince an Addicted Loved One to Go to Rehab

You must plan and practice an intervention for it to be effective. Here are some general steps to follow when planning an intervention.

  1. Choose who will be there.
  2. Decide who will speak.
  3. Plan what you will say and practice it beforehand.
  4. Choose a location with space and privacy.
  5. Select a time when your loved one is unlikely to be under the influence of substances.
  6. Hold the intervention.
  7. Help your loved one get into treatment or hold firm boundaries if they decline treatment.
  8. Check-in with the others involved in the intervention.

A professional interventionist can help you plan and hold an effective intervention. The interventionist will work with your friends and family before, during, and after the intervention and support your loved ones as they begin treatment.

staging an intervention to convince an addicted loved one to go to rehab

What to Say to An Addicted Loved One During an Intervention

Although your loved one’s addiction may make you angry, sad, hopeless, or frustrated, it is important to focus on your love and concern during an intervention. Avoid making blaming or shaming statements at all costs. Instead, try the following phrases:

  • I believe you can recover from addiction
  • Addiction treatment works
  • You are important to me
  • Your life matters
  • If you agree to go to treatment, I will help you get started
  • I’m worried about you
  • I miss our relationship
  • Your/our children need you back

Keep your statements clear, supportive, and non-emotional. Your goal is to get your loved one to agree to go to rehab. They must understand that you love and support them unconditionally. No one chooses their addiction. Remember this often as you decide what to say during an intervention.

What to Avoid When Trying to Convince an Addicted Loved One to Go to Rehab

As important as it is to know what to say, it is equally important to know what to avoid when discussing the subject of your loved one’s addiction. Avoid the following:

1. Being Unprepared

Discussing your loved one’s addiction may be emotional. Each person at the intervention has their own thoughts, beliefs, and feelings about your loved one’s addiction.

An intervention must remain calm. Everyone must focus on the goal: getting your loved one to start treatment immediately. If possible, practice the intervention from start to finish, including who will speak and in order. The more prepared you are, the more likely your intervention will be calm.

2. Getting Angry

It is common for people to feel frustrated or angry about their loved one’s actions when they are in the grip of addiction. This anger can sometimes bubble up during an intervention and take the event off track.

To be effective, the atmosphere in an intervention should be calm, supportive, and loving. When anger enters the picture, this is almost impossible to achieve. Irritation can cause miscommunications, denial, and defensiveness.

The best way to avoid anger? Prepare, plan, and get the support you need to keep your own emotions from taking over. Encourage the other people invited to the intervention to do the same.

Consider hiring an interventionist to help you navigate this tricky, emotional process. A trained interventionist can offer your family support while planning the intervention and help people stay calm and focused during the event.

3. Ending Your Support After the Intervention

An intervention is only the first step in helping your loved one overcome their addiction. During the intervention, your loved one may accept or reject your offer of help. Either way, your loved one needs more emotional and practical support.

If your loved one accepts help, you can continue to support them in many ways, including:

  • Reminding them of why they are in treatment
  • Offering assistance with child, house, or pet care while they are in rehab
  • Giving rides to their appointments
  • Making medical and mental health appointments
  • Attending family therapy
  • Helping to navigate insurance and payment plans
  • Listening without judgment
  • Telling them they are loved by many
  • Reminding them that treatment works and that they can recover
  • Telling them you love and support them

Addiction isn’t a condition that anyone can cure. Instead, people must learn how to manage their addiction for the rest of their lives. The support of friends and family can be the difference between remaining addicted and lifelong recovery.

helping a loved one go to rehab

Types of Addiction Treatment

Your loved one may go through an evaluation to determine which level of care is appropriate to meet their needs. Understanding the different types of available treatment can help you make confident choices about your loved one’s treatment.

Medical Detox

Completing a medical detox program is often one of the first–and most crucial–levels of care in addiction treatment that people take. Many people require medical supervision, observation, and treatment for uncomfortable or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms during the acute withdrawal period.

Medical supervision and treatment, including medications and physical care, allow people to experience a comfortable, safe, and complete detox from drugs or alcohol.

Medical staff will monitor your vitals during detox and observe you for dangerous withdrawal symptoms. They can give you medications to help with discomfort and provide life-saving medical interventions if needed. Often, people will relapse to alleviate the discomfort of withdrawal. Constant monitoring and treatment can help people manage their withdrawal symptoms and prevent early relapse.

The environment in a detox facility is highly controlled, meaning people will not have access to drugs or alcohol. People are more likely to have a complete detox if they have the support, distance, and treatment a medical detox program provides.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is considered one of the first levels of care in addiction treatment. Outpatient treatment is offered in a variety of facilities and programs. Generally, outpatient treatment consists of therapy, group support, family counseling, skills-building sessions, and education.

Outpatient programs offer the most adaptability and flexibility of all levels of care in addiction treatment. People often continue working, attending school, or caring for family members while getting treatment. People must meet specific criteria for outpatient treatment.

  • Having stable housing
  • Not requiring intensive medical or mental stabilization
  • Not experiencing constant cravings

Outpatient addiction treatment is more intensive than attending individual therapy or support meetings. People may be required to spend 9 hours a week or more in scheduled activities.


Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) and Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) are more comprehensive, highly-structured forms of outpatient addiction treatment. Both types of programs are offered as alternatives to inpatient care for people who do not have intense medical needs or cause for 24-hour treatment.

People in IOP or PHP treatment spend a great deal of time engaged in treatment activities but do not live in the facility. They may spend six or more hours a day, or 20 hours per week, participating in skill-building activities, support groups, individual and family therapy, and medication management.

Both PHP and IOP treatment programs are offered in various settings, including hospitals, addiction treatment facilities, and day treatment centers.

Inpatient or Residential Care

Practitioners often refer people who require highly-structured treatment programs to an inpatient or residential addiction treatment facility. Residential treatment provides 24 hours a day access to medical and mental health professionals and a rigorous schedule of activities during the day.

Inpatient treatment programs can vary in length depending on a person’s needs. Many spend between 30 and 90 days in residential care. Medical and addiction specialists generally recommend inpatient treatment for people who have especially intense or prolonged addictions, have not been successful in lower levels of care, or have other mental health or medical needs.

Taking Care of Yourself As You Support Your Addicted Loved One

When trying to convince an addicted loved one to go to treatment, you may have a range of emotions. You may feel hopeful, angry, sad, or frustrated–and sometimes all in one day. Get the emotional support you need and deserve during this process.

Seek individual counseling, join a support group, or connect with other friends and family members you trust. Self-care is vital while you are supporting your loved one in their journey with addiction and recovery.

Get Help Now

For more information on how to convince an addicted loved one to go to rehab or to learn more about our California addiction treatment programs, reach out to the Arise Treatment Center specialists today.


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