How to Commit Someone for Drug Abuse

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One of the worst parts of being addicted to a drug is the effect it has on the addict's loved ones. Not only do they have to face the social and financial consequences of the addict's actions, but they also have to watch someone they care about spiral deeper and deeper into a hole. But the situation is rarely as hopeless as it seems.

If you know someone addicted to drugs or alcohol, you don't have to sit idly by; there are steps you can take to help the person understand the effect their addiction is having on you, and ways to support them as they seek help.

Sometimes, however, despite your best efforts, the addict will refuse to get the help they need. In cases such as these, it may be necessary to commit the person to psychiatric care.

The following are steps you can take to commit someone for drug abuse.

  1. The first thing to realize is that if a person is dead-set against accepting help, there is little you or anyone can do to change his mind. So, instead of being confrontational, it's important that you remember to show how you empathize with him and how you are concerned about his own well-being.
  2. Educate yourself about the particulars of your loved one's drug of choice. Drugs come in all different kinds and have a wide range of effects. The process of overcoming each drug is going to be different, so it's vital that you're clear and well-informed about the specific drug you're dealing with.
  3. Once you know the drug, find programs that have a record of dealing with that kind of drug. A rehab center might be the best alcohol recovery facility in the country, but if they can't help your loved one with his cocaine addiction, it's probably not the best option.
  4. Get to know the facility you've chosen. Attend workshops for family and friends, and ask questions of the staff. This is also a great opportunity to meet and talk with families who have gone through the same thing.
  5. Confront the individual and tell him that you have a treatment center and plan all lined up, and ask him to seek help voluntarily. Again, the best thing you can do is to be firm but supportive and empathetic. Be prepared for denial and anger. Some addicts may resort to violence, and many will try to manipulate you emotionally to get out treatment.

Involuntary committment

If all else fails, you can try to have the person committed involuntarily. This is, obviously, a very large and difficult step and should only be explored in extreme cases in which a person's addiction is threatening your physical well being. You should also keep the following in mind:

Requirements

Typically, a state will commit an individual if it can be proven that he is a threat to himself or other people. This will often depend on the report of a state officer or crisis team sent for evaluation. Your input might be considered, but many states err on the side of keeping people out of psychiatric facilities.

Limitations

Even if you are successful at having your loved one committed against his will, this will typically only hold him for 72 hours, at which point, the state will release him unless he continues to display destructive behavior. It's best to be prepared to take full advantage of this period and show the addict how they can improve within only a few days. Then, they are more likely to submit to a longer stay.

Drug Abuse and Mental Illness

If you're looking for how to commit someone for drug abuse, it can be easier if their addiction happens alongside a mental illness. In fact, if they have a history of mental illness and are behaving self-destructively, it may be most effective to call 911 and have them taken into custody that way. Just remember that unless you can convince them that recovery is their own best interest, they are likely going continuing abusing after they're released.

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