Can You Force Someone To Go To Rehab In Texas
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Can You Force Someone to Go to Rehab in Texas?

When someone you love is struggling with addiction, you may feel desperate to do anything you can to get them the treatment they need. Some people will agree to go to rehab willingly after a conversation with their loved ones or an intervention. But others are more reluctant to go to rehab. People may refuse to go to rehab for several reasons, including not having insurance, not wanting to get sober, or not realizing they have a problem with drugs or alcohol.

Loved ones who are faced with the challenge of trying to convince someone to go to rehab in Texas may exhaust all of their options, finally wondering if they can force someone to go to rehab in Texas. While parents can send their underage children to treatment centers against their will, it isn’t that easy when you’re trying to send an adult to rehab.

Fortunately, 37 states, including Texas, have passed involuntary commitment laws that give friends and family the potential to force someone they love to go to rehab.

Involuntary Commitment to Substance Abuse Treatment in Texas: What the Law Says

The state of Texas allows a county or district attorney or another adult to apply for court-ordered, involuntary treatment of qualifying individuals under the Health & Safety Code § 463.062. Qualifying individuals are those who:

  • Have a chemical dependency (are physically and/or psychologically addicted to drugs or alcohol) AND are likely to cause serious harm to themselves or othersOR those who:
  • Will continue to experience mental, emotional, or physical distress, leading to their inability to function properly AND is unable to make rational and informed decisions about their treatment.

In order for a Texas judge to grant the involuntary commitment of an individual, the attorney or other adult that is petitioning the court must be able to prove one of the above points. If they aren’t able to prove their loved one’s addiction, it will be incredibly difficult to force them to go to rehab.

Petitioners of the court must be able to prove at least one of the following:

  • The individual has threatened, attempted, or inflicted physical harm on themselves or someone else
  • The person will inflict harm on themselves or others if they are not detained
  • The person is so intoxicated by drugs or alcohol that they cannot provide basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing for themselves

After the judge grants involuntary commitment, the individual must undergo a comprehensive screening at a treatment center to confirm the need for treatment.

What is the Process for Trying to Commit Someone to Rehab in Texas?

The involuntary commitment process in Texas begins with getting a mental health warrant. The warrant serves as an official order for emergency apprehension and detention. The Texas Bar Association outlines five steps you must take to get a mental health warrant.

  1. File an application for the warrant at your local county clerk’s office or Justice of the Peace office.
  2. After filing the application, the magistrate must find that there is reasonable cause to commit the individual to rehab. If the application is approved, the warrant is issued and the local sheriff’s office can detain the individual and transport them to a local treatment facility.
  3. Once the patient is at the treatment facility, a physician must provide a certificate within 24 hours of admission establishing whether or not it is necessary to issue an Order of Protective Custody (OPC).
  4. If an OPC is filed, a probable cause heroin must be held within 72 hours. The judge will decide whether the patient should continue being held at the treatment facility or if he or she is to be released.
  5. A mental health hearing must take place within two weeks of the detention. The court may dismiss the cause and release the patient, issue a court order for inpatient treatment, or issue a court order for outpatient rehab.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation and need immediate assistance, call 911. The local police department can connect you with crisis intervention resources or take the individual into custody and transport them to a mental health facility for an immediate evaluation.

When Should You Consider Forcing a Loved One Into Rehab in Texas?

Knowing when to start the process of involuntary commitment can be challenging. According to the Texas Bar, “involuntary commitment is considered a “last resort” option and is mainly issued when an individual is unable to care for him or herself and has demonstrated behaviors indicating they are a danger to themselves or others.”

Some signs you may want to consider trying to force a loved one into rehab are:

  • Your loved one is at risk of harming themselves or others
  • You fear your loved one may overdose and die if they don’t go to rehab
  • Your loved one cannot provide basic needs for him or herself
  • Withdrawal symptoms appear when your loved one tries to stop taking drugs or alcohol
  • Your loved one is experiencing risky behaviors, delusional thinking, or psychosis
  • Your loved one is threatening suicide or intentional overdose

Is Forcing Someone to Rehab Really a Good Idea?

Some people believe that forcing someone to go to rehab won’t work because people have to want to get sober to stay sober. However, many people enter rehab begrudgingly–they don’t necessarily want to give up drugs or alcohol, but they also don’t want to keep living the life they have been living. But after spending some time in rehab and getting introduced to recovery, many people start wanting sobriety more and more.

Even if your loved one doesn’t want to go to rehab, placing them in a facility and allowing them to watch other people recover may inspire hope and motivation. Your loved one may hear or experience something that causes their attitude to shift, making them start to want to improve their lives. As a result, forced rehab can be a step in the right direction.

Find a Texas Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center Today

If your loved one is refusing to go to rehab, it’s essential to take the right approach to get them the help they need. In some cases, simply getting them on the phone with a trusted rehab center near you can change their mind.

At Flourishing Foundations Recovery, our expert addiction specialists can talk to your loved one, evaluate their needs, and convince them to give recovery a shot. Contact us today to get started.

References:

  1. Texas Bar Association: Committed to Healing: Involuntary Commitment Procedures, Retrieved August 2023 from https://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Free_Legal_Information2&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=30801