Drug and alcohol addiction is a major problem in the United States. People who are diagnosed with substance use disorders (SUDs) repeatedly misuse drugs or alcohol despite major damage to one’s mental and physical health or failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home.1 In the United States, 40.3 million people had an SUD in the past year—28.3 million had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and 19.4 million had an illicit drug use disorder.1

If you have a loved one who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you may be wondering how to get someone into rehab. This page will answer questions you may have about addiction and how to help your loved one begin on their path toward recovery.

What are Some Signs That Someone is Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol?

There are various signs that an individual is addicted to drugs or alcohol. In order to be diagnosed with an SUD, there need to be two or more of the following criteria in a 12-month period:2

  • Using larger amounts of a substance or taking it more often.
  • Needing increased amounts of the substance to achieve the previously obtained effect.
  • Wanting to cut back or stop using but being unable.
  • Spending large amounts of time to obtain, use, or recover from the substance.
  • Craving or desiring the substance.
  • Using the substance in risky situations.
  • Failing to meet commitments at home, school, or work.
  • Continuing to use the substance despite recurring or continual relationship and social problems brought about or aggravated by the substance.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms with the reduction or stopping of use.
  • Giving up activities previously cared about because of the substance use.
  • Continued use despite recurring or continual physical or psychological problems brought about or aggravated by the substance.

How To Get a Loved One to Admit They Have a Substance Abuse Problem?

You may think that your loved one has a substance abuse problem but be unsure what to do next. You may wonder how to get someone to admit they are an alcoholic or that they have a drug addiction. Although you cannot force a loved one to admit their addiction, it is important that you communicate with them openly and honestly. Let them know about your concerns and how their substance abuse is impacting you and those around you. Also, make sure to let them know that you love and support them, but don’t lose sight of the issue at hand.

Checking Your Insurance Benefits

If you are looking for addiction treatment for a loved one, it can feel overwhelming. As you consider your options, knowing exactly what their insurance plan covers can give you peace of mind while your loved one is in rehab. They can do the work of getting and staying sober without worrying about unexpected costs or financial struggles. For more information on what their insurance plan covers, call AAC at , click here, or fill out the form below.

What is a Rehab Center and How Can They Help?

An alcohol or drug treatment facility provides care and support for those who are struggling with addiction. If you have a loved one who is struggling with an SUD, there are both inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment options for them to begin working on their sobriety.

Rehabs are structured treatment programs that help people stop using drugs or alcohol. They help patients address the root causes of their substance abuse as well as providing them with strategies for coping with triggers that may lead to relapse. Addiction treatment programs may include detox, group/family/individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and aftercare.

Can You Detox from Drugs or Alcohol at Home?

Detox occurs when the body clears itself of drugs or alcohol. Detox should usually occur under medical supervision as it may involve uncomfortable, painful, or even potentially fatal side effects resulting from withdrawal. With the support of medical staff and possibly medications, depending on the substance from which you are withdrawing, it is easier for someone to go through the detox process more comfortably and safely.6

However, it may be possible for certain people to detox at home—depending on the substance of abuse, how much is used, and how long it has been used. Detoxing at home is only safe to do for certain drugs that don’t typically produce dangerous withdrawal symptoms. At-home detox should only be pursued with the approval of a doctor or medical professional. Without that approval, at-home detox may be dangerous or even potentially deadly.

Still, while at-home detox may be a potential option for certain people, for many it may be better to go through the detox process at a drug and alcohol addiction rehab facility. If you are unsure about the type of detox that may be best for you or your loved one, reach out to one of our admissions navigators at .

How to Talk to Someone About Going to Rehab?

While it’s not always easy to help and support someone who is struggling with addiction, it is important to be there for them, be sensitive to their struggles, communicate openly, and show them support. Some of the ways that you can encourage your loved one include:3

  • Encouraging them when they ask for help.
  • Allowing them to face consequences when it comes to substance abuse.
  • Requesting that they alter their behavior (e.g., looking for treatment).
  • Disregarding drug or alcohol related behavior.

As you show your loved one encouragement, love, and support, you can also talk to them about getting help. If your loved one acknowledges their addiction problem, you should speak to them openly and honestly about how drug and alcohol addiction treatment will help them face their addiction and work to begin to move toward recovery.

It’s very important for your loved one to feel supported and to know that you will be there for them every step of the way. Treatment and recovery can be very challenging. It may entail taking time off of work, spending time away from family and home, being in a new place, addressing challenging and painful issues, and more. Knowing that they have your love and support and that you are always in their corner will help them face those challenges as they work toward a healthier, happier life.

How to Talk to Someone About Going Into Rehab When They’ve Refused?

If your loved one is refusing treatment, it may leave you feeling angry, afraid, hurt, and helpless. Helping someone deal with an addiction can be very difficult, so it’s important that you make sure that you have your own support to work through your emotions and figure out ways to handle the situation.

Even if your loved one is refusing to go to rehab, you can still continue to share your feelings and concern as you share the options for help that they have. These options can include inpatient or outpatient treatment at a facility or going to meetings through programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. You can let them know that you will be there to support them and will even attend meetings with them.

If they continue to refuse treatment, you need to set boundaries to protect yourself and your other loved ones. Your loved one needs to know what you are and are not willing to do for them as they continue to abuse drugs or alcohol. These boundaries will ensure that your loved one understands that you will not enable their substance abuse.

Can I Force Someone to Go Into Rehab?

It is normal for you to be concerned about the safety of your loved one and those around them if they are struggling with an addiction, and you may be wondering if there is a way to force them to get help. While you want to help your loved one and get them the treatment they need, you cannot force someone to go to rehab, unless you are pursuing involuntary admission. Involuntary admission policies vary by state so check with your state to see what the rules and requirements are.

Although involuntary admission may be necessary for certain people, it is not ideal for most people. Rather, working with your loved one to conclude that they should go to rehab willingly provides your loved one with a much better opportunity to achieve recovery and maintain that recovery.

Should I Consider Their Mental Health??

Substance use disorders fall under the umbrella of mental health. It is considered a mental disorder that impacts both an individual’s brain and their behavior. When considering your loved one’s addiction, you definitely need to consider their mental health.

And in addition to addiction, many people are also dealing with co-occurring disorders. In fact, researchers found that around half of the people who have an SUD will also experience a co-occurring mental disorder. It is possible that your loved is dealing with both an SUD and another mental disorder. Co-occurring disorders may include depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as other disorders.4

SUDs and other mental disorders often co-occur, and mental disorders may contribute to substance abuse and SUDs. Because SUDs may co-occur with other mental disorders, it is important to know that there are addiction treatment programs that address co-occurring disorders. Treating the co-occurring disorders simultaneously is preferred. Dual diagnosis treatment is available, and it is something that needs to be considered as you look at addiction rehab and caring for your loved one’s mental health.

How Do Intervention Programs Work?

You might think about holding an intervention to talk to your loved one about their addiction and get them to go to rehab. If you are considering this, you’ll need to make sure you’ve planned it well and have a specific desired outcome. You shouldn’t conduct an intervention spontaneously, as a lack of preparedness combined with reactive communication could result in anger, hurt feelings, and no resolution or positive outcomes.

It is important to spend some time thinking about what you want to say and how you want to say it beforehand. In general, approaching your loved one in a manner that voices how much you care about them will likely be much more effective than approaching them with a mindset of punishment and condemnation.

Regardless of whether you choose to do a formal intervention, which might include assistance from a professional who specializes in addictions, communicating your concerns with your loved one might help influence them to seek treatment.

How To Get a Loved One Into Rehab If They Have No Money?

Insurance is often accepted at drug rehabilitation programs. However, the extent of coverage may vary according to the particular facility. Their insurance plan may cover only a portion of their rehabilitation stay, so it’s important to check their insurance plan prior to enrolling in a drug rehab program. To find out what your loved one’s individual plan covers, check your insurance.

Wondering if you or a loved one has an addiction problem? Find out in less than 5 minutes with our confidential survey.

How To Get a Loved One Into Rehab If They Don’t Have Insurance?

If your insurance plan does not cover the cost of rehab, you can discuss other payment options with the facility you choose. The programs may offer various options, including sliding scale payments, scholarships, grants, or loans. If you don’t have insurance, there are other options for going to rehab without insurance, including also free and no-cost rehab programs that offer treatment.


  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP21-07-01-003, NSDUH Series H-56). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
  3. Alcohol Research. (2021). The Role of the Family in Alcohol Use Disorder Recovery for Adults.
  4. National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders.
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition): Types of Treatment Programs.