How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab

how to convince someone to go to rehab

How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab

The cycle of addiction can be extremely difficult to break, and often individual’s need outside help to successfully manage their addictive behavior and maintain a sober lifestyle. Despite the number of people that need to go to a rehabilitation treatment center, it can be difficult to convince a loved one to seek the treatment they need.

If you know a loved one needs help with their addiction, but they are unwilling to go to rehab, how do you convince them to get the help they need? This is a common question to ask yourself and many family members and friends of those addicted to drugs and/or alcohol have experienced this dilemma.

Steps to Take to Convince Your Loved One to Seek Help

To help you provide the guidance and reasoning to increase the likelihood of your loved one seeking the help they need, we have compiled a list of tactics to utilize to convince your loved one that they need to go to rehab to control their addiction.

Educate Yourself on Addiction

The first thing you should do when attempting to convince a loved one to go to a rehabilitation treatment center is seek additional education and information about addiction. For addicts, it can sometimes feel as if their loved one does not understand what they are experiencing, which can impact how they react to external commentary on steps they should take to combat their addiction and become sober.

Addiction is a chronic disease that is characterized by compulsive behavior to use drugs and/or alcohol despite the negative consequences that may result because of this drug or alcohol use. Addiction is difficult to control and is reliant on much more than just self-control. The use of drugs and/or alcohol over an extended period of time can create a biological dependency within the body that results in withdrawal symptoms when the drug of choice is not used for any duration of time.




To successfully speak to your loved one about their addiction, it is important to try to understand what they are going through so that your reasoning resonates with them. Additional education and information about addiction and drug or alcohol abuse will help you speak more authoritatively about their addiction and will increase the probability of them heeding your advice and encouragement to seek professional assistance with their attempts to control their addictive behaviors.

Formulate a Plan

Forming a plan is an essential step in successfully convincing a loved one to seek professional help at a rehabilitation treatment center. When you begin building a plan, you increase the likelihood that the subsequent actions you take will result in the desired outcome. If you try to bombard your loved one with pleas to go to a drug rehab center or hold an impromptu intervention, the likelihood of successfully convincing them is not high.

However, if you plan what you think will appeal to your loved one’ circumstances, how you plan to approach them, possible ways the scenario and conversation may develop, mitigating steps for if the conversation begins to take a negative turn, and what steps you are looking for your loved one to take, then the chances of your pleas being heard and acknowledged with action is much higher.

Many people struggle with how to successfully appeal to their loved one to change their life and deal with their addiction. Having a step entirely focused on planning will set you up to have more success when you have an intervention with your loved one.

Hold an Intervention

An intervention can be a vital tool in successfully convincing a loved one to seek the help they need at a treatment center. The purpose of an intervention is to confront your loved one with the effect their addiction has had on their family and friends in an attempt to drive home an understanding of the consequences and severity of their addiction.

An intervention often includes a group of friends of family members directly impacted by their loved one’s addiction and who are attempting to convince their loved one to seek help for their addiction at a rehabilitation treatment center. An intervention can be a very emotional and stressful event, so it is vital to take a number of key steps when planning and executing a successful intervention.

Create A Gameplan: The first step is to make a plan with the friends of family members that have expressed concern and wish to intervene. Often during this stage, it is important to seek outside professional help, such as a professional counselor, mental health professional, or psychologist, to help provide guidance to inform the intervention process.

Logic and judgment are impaired when an individual is influenced by the effects of their addiction, making the help of a professional interventionist vitally important. Outside professional help will help you to execute a successful intervention that will bring your loved one closer rather than alienating them further. An intervention can awaken feelings of resentment, anger, and betrayal that can be mediated and offset by the presence of an objective outsider.

Research and Document: It is also extremely important to conduct research and compile documentation in preparation for the intervention. An unsuccessful intervention can push your loved one further into their addiction and cause them to further disassociate from their family and friends, so it is important to adequately prepare for the intervention and treat it with the deference it demands.

Prior to the intervention, it is important to research the specific type of drug or alcohol addiction your loved one is experiencing and attempt to ascertain the severity of their addiction. This will aid you in selecting the right type of recovery program for them to enter at the conclusion of the intervention.

During this stage, it is also useful to have each individual participating in the intervention document their feelings, how the addiction has affected their life, and the negative impact it has had on their relationship. Be honest when compiling your feelings and thoughts as it is important to the success of the intervention, and your relationship with your loved one, that they truly understand the impact their behavior has on your life.

Interventions can be emotionally charged and having a written document to refer to during the intervention helps loved ones remain focused. You do not want the person suffering from addictive behavior to feel criticized, demeaned, or attacked as this will only push them further into their addiction. Instead, focus on creating a message from each person that is honest, heartfelt, rational, and provides a cohesive message.

Vet Your Message: It is often helpful for those participating in the intervention to meet with each other before the intervention to share what they have written so that each member of the group can provide constructive criticism to make sure that there is a cohesive message being provided and the tone of the intervention is loving.

Reserve Your Judgment: The purpose of an intervention is not to make your loved one feel that they are being judged for their mistakes or their addictive behaviors. Though you may have judgments about your loved one’s actions and their addictive relationship to drugs and/or alcohol, an intervention is not the right place to express your judgment of them.

An intervention will only be successful if it fosters a safe environment in which the individual suffering from an addiction feels they can acknowledge their addiction and the need for them to seek professional help at a rehab center. The worst thing you can do at an intervention is judge and scrutinize your loved one; instead, focus on making them feel loved, supported, and ready to make a significant change in their life.

Establish Consequences: Once these steps are complete, it is next important to generate and establish consequences that will occur if your loved one rejects the intervention and chooses not to seek help. This may mean requiring your loved one to find other housing if they are bringing illicit substances into your home, or restricting visitation with their child if they are exposing them to dangerous situations.

For each member of the intervention, it is important to establish these consequences prior to the intervention so that your loved one knows there will be measurable, real consequences if they choose to not seek help for their addiction. Consequences will have absolutely no bearing if they are only idle threats, so make consequences you are willing and prepared to enact should your loved one not seek the treatment they need for their addiction.

Pick a Time and Place: Finally, it is important to pick a time and place to hold the intervention. Be sure to check with the professional you selected to make sure they are available to attend the intervention as their neutral presence will increase the likelihood for a successful intervention. 

Then, be sure to consult with all family and friends participating in the intervention to schedule a time and date that works for all participants in the intervention. Next, it is important to locate a venue that will allow you to hold the intervention without interruption and that will provide a calm atmosphere.

You want to make sure this space is private since this will be a sensitive and emotionally charged event. The final step is to invite the loved one you are holding the intervention for without disclosing to them that it will be an intervention or the other individuals that will be present.

However, it is also vital to not let your loved one feel that they are being ambushed during the intervention, so when they arrive be sure to give them time to adjust before beginning as they will be more receptive to the feedback and subsequent events if they are calm upon beginning the intervention. All of these steps will greatly increase the likelihood of holding a successful intervention.

Consider Their Circumstances

Each individual’s battle with addiction is different, and this is vital to keep in mind to successfully convince them to seek professional assistance at a treatment center. If your loved one has been to a rehab center before and failed to remain sober, then they may be even more hesitant to return for fear that they will fail to become and remain sober once again.

If they have never been to a rehabilitation treatment center before, then they may wonder what the drug treatment program entails and how it will treat their specific addiction and circumstances. By taking into consideration the variety of factors that make your loved one’s battle with addiction unique, you can tailor your approach to convincing them accordingly.




If one type of rehabilitation treatment center was unsuccessful, locate a different type of recovery program that better suits them and their circumstances. If they have never been to a rehabilitation treatment center and are hesitant to acknowledge and combat their addictive behavior, research statistics and other success cases to help them see the value in seeking professional assistance to overcome drug and/or alcohol addiction.

You know the unique characteristics of your loved ones, so use your knowledge to appeal to the distinct aspects of their addiction and concerns about seeking treatment. This will increase the likelihood of successfully convincing your loved one to seek treatment at a rehabilitation center.

Support Their Treatment

It is important to keep in mind that once your loved one decides to seek help for their addiction, your role does not stop there. If you have successfully convinced your loved one to get help for their addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, the next step is to support their treatment and recovery.

It is vital that they not feel abandoned or alone as they go through the recovery process as this can be an uncomfortable and challenging time. Foster an environment in which they feel loved, supported, and understood, and you will help them achieve the sobriety they need and want.

At HARP, we have a unique approach addiction treatment. We are committed to making sure every client has a successful and comfortable recovery process. If you or one of your loved ones are struggling with addiction HARP can help. Call us today to learn about our treatment options.

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