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How to Convince an Adult Child to Go to Rehab

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How to Convince an Adult Child to Go to Rehab
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Watching your adult child struggle with substance abuse and addiction can make you feel guilt, anger, anxiety, and hopelessness. It’s a complicated problem to navigate. How can you convince an adult child to go to rehab when you don’t have any legal right to make decisions for them?

Pushing too hard or letting your emotions take control can lead to your child pulling away from you entirely. They may become angry or defensive or deny that their problem requires treatment.

But addiction is a severe and complex condition that requires comprehensive treatment. The longer a person waits to go to rehab, the deeper their addiction is likely to get–and the harder it will be to treat.

Here are some steps you can take to convince an adult child to go to rehab. For more information about recovery, support, or treatment options, reach out to the admissions specialists at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment now.

Educate Yourself

It can be challenging to convince an adult child to go to rehab in any situation, but it is even more difficult to do so when you don’t understand addiction or available treatment options.

So, what’s the first step? Learn about addiction.

Addiction is not a moral failing or a choice. Instead, it is a condition that arises from changes in the brain’s structure and chemistry. Read books or articles about addiction from reputable sources. Attend support group meetings for the families of addicted people. You will learn about different aspects of addiction, including:

  • How an addiction forms
  • The effects of different substances on a person’s body
  • Co-occurring conditions, such as mental illness or medical issues
  • Treatment options, including levels of care, types of treatment, and aftercare planning

The more you know about addiction and recovery, the better able you will be to support your adult child.

Convince an Adult Child to Go to Rehab

Get The Care You Need and Deserve

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

(781) 622-9190

Stay Calm

Addiction is a serious condition with real, sometimes life-threatening symptoms and consequences. It’s not hard to understand why people feel anxious, afraid, angry, or hopeless about their loved one’s substance abuse.

But staying calm is essential. Anger, sadness, or anxiety can put a wedge between concerned parents and adult children with addiction. Your child may feel overwhelmed or defensive if your emotions take center stage.

A professional addiction interventionist can help people process their emotions about their loved one’s addiction in healthy ways while fostering their connection–instead of pushing them away. Interventionists can also connect families with community resources to help them work through their own complex feelings as they support their loved ones.

It can be helpful to remember that no one chooses their addiction. People with addiction require compassionate, comprehensive treatment to move forward in life–and they need a lot of support. Family support is precious to people in recovery. Try to set your emotions aside and focus on your love and support.

Plan an Intervention

An intervention can be an effective way to convince an adult child to go to rehab. An intervention is a planned gathering of concerned friends and family with the goal of convincing someone to go to rehab. To plan an intervention, you will need to consider the following:

  1. Who will attend the intervention? Choose only close friends and family and exclude anyone also struggling with substance abuse or addiction.
  2. Where you will hold it. Choose a place that offers enough space and privacy for everyone to be comfortable.
  3. Decide who will speak. During an intervention, loved ones may choose to share their concerns. It’s essential to know who will be talking and in what order so that you can stay on track.
  4. Practice. People who will be speaking should write down and practice what they will say. If possible, gather everyone together before the actual event to discuss how the intervention will take place.
  5. Research treatment options. Be ready to offer your adult child a specific treatment option.
  6. Agree on the consequences if your loved one declines treatment. This could mean taking away financial support, asking the adult child to move out of your home, or other things.
  7. Hold the intervention.
  8. Help your adult child start rehab if they agree to get help. If they decline your offer, follow through with your consequences.

Successful interventions are those that are well-planned and carefully prepared. A trained interventionist can help you plan and host an intervention and offer expertise and guidance at every step.

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Don’t Enable Your Adult Child Who is Addicted

Even if your child is an adult, you may still be helping them financially. Many parents continue helping their young adult children with phone bills, insurance, rent, or emergency funds. However, if it comes to the point where you are providing things for your adult child that they are fully capable of providing for themselves, but they fail to do so because of their addiction, it’s time to set some boundaries.

Helping your addicted adult child with things they can do themselves only allows them to continue their addiction in peace. Rather than having to face consequences such as financial issues, lack of support, or legal problems, enabling behaviors shield people from them, and allow them to continue their bad behaviors.

When you stop enabling, you make addiction uncomfortable for your child. You may be surprised how quickly they become willing to accept help when they don’t have parents who are enabling their behaviors.

Get Your Child Into Treatment Immediately

Once you convince your adult child to go to rehab, getting them into treatment immediately is critical. If they have time to reconsider, they might do so–and they may start to use again.

Before you even attempt to convince an adult child to go to rehab, you must have a treatment center available to admit them immediately. Reach out to your local treatment center to facilitate immediate admission so that when your child agrees to get help, they can begin right away.

The admission specialists at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment are ready to discuss treatment options and the admission process to help you support your child’s recovery. Reach out to us today for more information.

Find Help for an Adult Child Struggling With Addiction Today

Watching your child struggle with addiction can be heartbreaking. You don’t have to go through this alone. Reach out to the caring addiction specialists at Woburn for information about our treatment programs or support for families. We’re here for you–and we’ll be there every step of the way. Contact us now to get started.

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Medically Reviewed By

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC Clinical Director
Learn about Inessa Maloney

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC has been dedicated to the mental health and substance abuse field for a decade, providing her expertise to guarantee quality and accuracy.

  • Specializes in outpatient services with a focus on substance abuse
  • Expertise in reality-based therapy, CBT/DBT, and motivational interviewing
  • Holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling
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