Many times when someone is suffering from addiction, extreme measures must be taken to save their lives. But if someone is forced or ordered to go into rehab, can it cause more harm than good? Can a forced rehab stay make someone more resentful and more determined not to get help?
A recent headline in the Associated Press asked, “In the addiction battle, is forced rehab the solution?,” and it is indeed an important question when people need to get help. One woman featured in the story was forced into a rehab a month after she had a child, and her mother got her into rehab through a court order. Apparently, it stuck because the woman said, “That was one bottom I wasn’t willing to revisit again.”
Looking through recent data across the United States, the Associated Press reports that “in some key states the use of involuntary commitment for drug addiction is rising. And in many places, lawmakers are trying to create or strengthen laws allowing authorities to force people into treatment.” And on the other hand, there are doctors, people in law enforcement, and civil rights advocates who don’t feel this is the right way to go.
As the AP continues, “Research suggests involuntary commitment largely doesn’t work and could raise the danger of overdose for those who relapse after treatment. And expanding civil commitment laws, critics argue, could also violate due process rights and confine people in prison like environments…”
A phrase you often hear from people who are struggling in recovery is “you have to want it.” And indeed, if there isn’t the desire to get clean, a forced rehab stay may not do any good, which is one of the hardest things for a loved one dealing with an addiction can deal with. Many times a forced commitment is an emergency move to save someone’s life, but beyond those instances, someone suffering from addiction has to want to get help, otherwise, a forced rehab stay could indeed be for naught.