Despite what you might see on television and in movies, committing someone involuntarily to a rehab facility takes more than a midnight call to a judge or an impassioned plea from a worried parent. In fact, some states don’t even have involuntary commitment laws for addiction.
But loved ones in Ohio who are worried about someone who is struggling with addiction do have some options under the law. Discover more below about how to get a loved one into rehab, even if it’s against their will.
How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab
Because involuntary commitment is a court procedure with numerous requirements, many families may want to attempt a personal approach first. Unless your loved one is in an emergency or dangerous situation, consider first approaching them in a loving, caring manner about their addiction.
- Beginning the conversation in a nonconfrontational manner and striving to remain as calm as possible throughout. Many times, the person struggling with addiction is already facing guilt over the situation, and piling on your own issues may only push them away.
- Choosing an appropriate time and place for the discussion. A private moment in a comfortable and safe space is good — at the holiday dinner table in front of Grandma and everyone, not as ideal.
- Doing your own research first. Find out more about addiction and what options might be available for treatment so you can offer ideas and support if the person admits to addiction and seems willing to consider help.
- Helping the person make a decision for treatment. In cases where someone is willing to seek help voluntarily, position yourself as a support, not a dictator. Don’t try to decide everything for them or demand they seek treatment the way you think they should. Instead, offer to be with them when they make a phone call or visit a treatment center to find out more.
How to Get Someone into Rehab Involuntarily
Ohio has several laws on the books that create a process for involuntary commitment in certain cases of mental illness, which includes addiction. The law allows for court-ordered treatment in either inpatient or outpatient programs, depending on the facts of a case and what the doctors, judge or other authorities deem to be necessary.
Families that have tried to talk to their loved one about seeking addiction treatment to no avail or those who are worried about the safety of their loved one can seek an involuntary commitment through the courts. The court will look for evidence that the person meets one or more of the following criteria before ordering them into treatment:
- The person is a danger to themselves or to others.
- The person is unable to provide for their own needs and the community is also unable to provide for those needs, and because of this, the person is deemed to be in immediate danger of harm.
- The person is deemed to be in need of and authorities or experts feel they would benefit from treatment.
Filing an Affidavit to Get Someone Into Rehab
Any person who believes that someone else is a danger to themselves or others and needs court-ordered treatment for a mental illness or addiction can file an affidavit stating so. The document must be:
- Comprehensive in nature and include all the information required under the law
- Establish probable cause of the need for treatment
- Be based on information that comes from reliable sources or your own personal experience
Once you file an affidavit, the court reviews it and any associated documentation, such as a doctor’s statement. If the court finds merit in the information, it can order a temporary detention. Police then take the person into custody and transport them to a hospital or other care facility. Within two days, the county mental health board must make a determination and present it to the court about whether treatment is necessary. The court may also order an evaluation by a health care professional.
After all of this, a hearing is conducted during which the court makes a final determination in the matter. If the court orders inpatient or outpatient treatment, the person involved is legally required to comply.
Ohio’s Pink Slip Law
Ohio also has what many people refer to as a pink slip law. This allows certain professionals or authorities to take someone into emergency custody for immediate treatment. Individual who can pink-slip someone include police officers, sheriffs, parole officers, doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists.
If someone is admitted to a hospital under these emergency circumstances, they must be examined by a doctor within 24 hours. The doctor makes a determination about whether further treatment is required. If the doctor decides treatment is warranted, the person can be held for treatment involuntarily for three court days before someone must file an affidavit and enter the process detailed above.
Note that if the person who was involuntarily admitted decides during those three days that they do want to seek treatment, they have the option to change their admission to voluntary and the affidavit process is not required.
How to Get Someone Into Rehab Who Is a Minor
While New Day Recovery treats adults age 18 and up, we do know that families can struggle when a minor child is caught in addiction. The rules and laws in these cases are slightly different since parents can make some decisions legally on behalf of their minor children. However, forcing your child into rehab simply because “you said so” isn’t always the best route to take for long-term healing. If you’re facing this type of situation, consider reaching out to a professional with experience in teen or child drug abuse for help.
Whatever Step You Take, Consider Taking it Today
Contact us at New Day Recovery to find out more about your options, whether you’re the one dealing with addiction or you’re worried about a loved one. We can help you understand what steps to take next and offer some advice about which type of treatment might be right for you or your loved one.