Watching your loved one go through addiction is devastating for you and your family. Unlike other diseases, addiction does not compel people to seek treatment immediately upon their diagnosis. Addiction is a disease that carries many consequences, including death, and you want to prevent your loved one from sinking to that level. You think that putting someone into treatment against their will is the most loving decision you can make for them, but the situation is much your complicated than that.
In most states, you cannot force someone into addiction treatment against their will if he or she is over the age of 18. There are some states who have certain laws and acts (e.g. Florida’s Marchman Act) where you can petition the court to put someone into addiction treatment against their will if you can prove certain circumstances.
•The addict is in danger of hurting himself or herself.
•The addict is in danger of hurting someone else.
•The addict’s mental state is so clouded that they are incompetent of making decisions for himself or herself.
•The addict has recently had an overdose or multiple overdoses.
If you live in Florida, you can petition the court to put your loved one in a Florida alcohol treatment center against their will if you petition the courts under the Marchman act. If you live in another state and wish to put your loved in a Florida alcohol treatment center against their will, the laws the state that you live in will apply to you.
Why Forced Treatment May Not Be the Right Solution
The reason addicts do not seek treatment once they develop the problem is denial is the hallmark to addiction. Addiction is a disease that tells them that they do not have a disease, which is why the First Step of the Twelve Steps is about admitting their powerlessness and that their lives have become unmanageable as a result. People cannot seek help if they do not think they have a problem.
Even when addicts realize that they are powerless over their substance of choice, seeking help is not easy. Their addictive substance has become their best friend that is killing them. Think back to when you were a child when you were playing out in the street and severely cut your knee. You stayed out in the street and coped with the pain instead of going home and having your mother put iodine on your wound, temporarily increasing the pain before alleviating it. The addicts know that thy will have to endure excruciating withdrawal and face psychological demons that they have been suppressing through their substance use.
Addict have to hit rock bottom, which is an internal state of readiness to get help. Their desire to be free from their addiction has to be stronger than their desire to continue using to suppress their pain. Addicts can only save themselves; their families are powerless. Forcing an addict into treatment is co-dependent behavior and will not solve the problem if he or she is not ready to get into recovery. The best than you can do your addicted loved one is taking care of yourself.
Genesis House is a treatment center in Lake Worth, Florida that has an excellent family program that teaches families how to understand and cope with the family disease of addiction. Call us today at 800-737-0933