Alcoholism is one chronic health condition that can destroy lives. It can ruin the life of the alcoholic. It can also have a devastating effect on that alcoholic’s family and loved ones. Unfortunately, if left untreated, alcoholism can create a downward spiral for a person that may seem unstoppable.
Many people may know a person close to them that is an alcoholic that they want to save from this disease. Unfortunately, convincing an alcoholic to seek treatment can be a task in itself. The person may simply refuse to go. Thankfully, with some hard work, there may still be a way to force that loved one into rehab.
First, a person should do some research. The reason why research is needed is because the laws for committing a person to an alcoholism rehabilitation center vary from state to state. After some basic knowledge of the law is obtained, a lawyer should probably be hired.
This lawyer will represent the person that wants to commit the loved one in court. In 37 different states, a court order can be used involuntarily commit a person to a treatment center for mental illness. This treatment may be inpatient, outpatient or a combination of both. Whatever the case, the person that is committed must be found to be mentally ill and a threat his or herself or others.
The assistance of a doctor must also be obtained. This doctor must be able to certify the alcoholic as being mentally ill and dangerous. This medical opinion must later be supplied to the court either as an affidavit or witness testimony. In most states, this is the standard of proof used to determine whether or not a person is mentally ill.
Some people may consider this unlikely due to the fact that alcoholism is rarely considered a mental illness by the media or in popular culture. However, alcoholism is indeed considered a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.
In certain states, however, the law may be different. For example, in Hawaii, before a person can be committed involuntarily to a treatment center, that person must have previously attempted other forms of treatment that failed. In Kansas, another mental illness must accompany the substance abuse before a person can be committed.
There are also seven different states that don’t use a mental illness requirement. These states allow a person to be involuntarily committed to a treatment center for simply being an addict that refuses treatment. This certainly includes alcoholics. Documents that prove this addiction and the alcoholic’s refusal to seek treatment can be great evidence used in court for this purpose.
Still, there are a few states that do not allow for involuntary treatment for alcoholism. The best option left for such an individual is an intervention. Interventions are best moderated and conducted by a professional. Usually, an interventionist is a psychologist with experience in the field of alcohol and drug abuse rehabilitation Some interventions fail. However, many others are successful at convincing a person to seek treatment.