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Watching a loved one struggle with drug addiction can often be a helpless and frustrating experience. Those who deal with addiction are often in denial about their problem and its consequences—which means that your attempts to coax them into seeking rehab can sometimes come up short.

As such, you may wonder if there’s a way you can have them involuntarily committed to a drug rehab center like Experience Recovery—that is, to get them into treatment against their will. This is obviously a big step to take, but it may feel like your last resort. Here are a few thoughts on involuntarily committing a loved one to Experience Recovery in Santa Ana.

Involuntary Commitment in California

To begin with, it’s important to note that involuntary commitment is more commonly referred to as court-ordered commitment, which is probably a more accurate way to put it. You cannot simply show up at Experience Recovery and have someone committed against their will, as you may have seen in old Hollywood movies; there are legal steps you have to take first.

According to California’s state laws, a person only qualifies for court-ordered addiction rehab if one of these two conditions is met:

  • The individual poses a real threat to him/herself, or to others.
  • The individual is unable to provide proper self-care—i.e. unable to maintain food, clothing, and shelter.

Does your loved one meet these criteria? Sometimes, it will be quite obvious; if your loved one has threatened or attempted violence to self or to others in the last few months, that’s qualifying. In other instances, though, it can be hard to determine whether your loved one qualifies for court-ordered commitment. Here are some additional guidelines to use; you should seek court-ordered commitment if your loved one…

  • Has been hospitalized within the past 36 months and demonstrated noncompliance with medical treatment;
  • THas a condition that is substantively, demonstrably getting worse;
  • TIs unlikely to survive safely in the community without proper medical intervention.

Steps to Involuntary Commitment

If you believe that your loved one needs addiction rehab, and efforts to encourage your loved one to seek treatment of his or her own volition have failed, here are the next steps you might take:

1. Call your county courthouse and find out what the law says, and which court should handle your request.
2. Contact the court in question and ask for a petition for involuntary commitment.
3. Complete the petition, offering as much detail as you can.
4. File your petition with the court; you may be able to speak with a judge right away, or you may be asked to come back at a later time.
5. Attend the court hearing and give your testimony; again, offer plenty of detail when you can, but always be honest!

If you have additional questions about having a loved one involuntarily committed to Experience Recovery in California—or if you’d first like to speak to someone about holding an intervention—reach out to Experience Recovery directly.