Seeing a loved one struggle with alcohol addiction can bring a mix of heartbreak, frustration, and fear about the future. That is why it is important to know that effective addiction treatment is available and to understand how to get an alcoholic in to rehab.
Common Barriers to Seeking Alcohol Rehab
Life doesn’t have a pause button, so stepping away from family life, friends, and work responsibilities for weeks or longer may not always seem feasible. There are plenty of valid reasons to not seek help and obstacles may seem insurmountable. However, active alcohol addictions are life-threatening, and there are solutions for any barrier to getting help.
For many people, their job is their most significant obstacle preventing them from seeking help for alcohol addiction. Fortunately, many workers can take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. While they won’t draw a paycheck during FMLA leave, their job is guaranteed to be there for them when they get back. Furthermore, while an employer may be able to fire an employee whose substance use negatively impacts their job performance, the Americans with Disability Act prevent the employer from firing a worker for attending rehab.
An individual’s inability to recognize their alcohol addiction and need for help can also prevent them from seeking treatment. Whether they feel that they need alcohol to cope with stress, struggle with seeing how their addiction affects those who love them, or disagree that they have an addiction, a candid conversation may be helpful. In some cases, an intervention with a trained professional can help them recognize their need for treatment.
Seeking rehab lets the individual temporarily step away from their current routines and responsibilities on their own terms instead of due to a significant injury, illness, or legal trouble resulting from their addiction. Ultimately, alcohol rehab lasts for a relatively short period, but it can change the course of the individual’s life.
Taking the First Step
Addressing how to get an alcoholic to rehab and coming up with an actionable plan is the first step to seeking help. It can be intimidating to attempt to map out a loved one’s treatment plan. Fortunately, this responsibility lies with the rehab facility, not the individual’s friends and family. The individual’s support system also doesn’t have the responsibility of getting their loved one in treatment; only they can make that decision. The role they can play in their loved one’s treatment is helping them recognize the negative impact of alcohol use on their finances, relationships, and responsibilities.
Interventions can be a powerful tool that may help save a loved one’s life. The goal of these sessions is to confront the individual about their alcohol addiction. Interventions allow family and friends to not only describe the negative impact of alcohol addiction using real-life examples but also the individual’s path to recovery.
A successful intervention has several components. These typically include:
- A plan for the where, when, why, and how
- Help from a professional interventionist
- A group of people who are dedicated to their loved one’s health and quality of life
- A list of examples of how the individual’s addiction affects friends and family
- An ultimatum
- An outline of treatment options
- A show of support for the individual’s success
Forcing a Loved One to Seek Alcohol Addiction Treatment
For most people, the benefits of living free from alcohol addiction are clear. This can make it challenging to understand the perspective of someone with an addiction. When determining how to get an alcoholic into rehab, many wonder if they can simply force a loved one to seek treatment.
In general, there’s no legal option for forcing someone into rehab, but some states have laws that may be used to compel someone to get treatment against their will. For example, in Florida, the Baker Act has been used to force someone into rehab. This law encourages people to seek inpatient care for mental health issues. However, for those who cannot make this decision due to the severity of their condition, there is precedent for forcing them into rehab.
Obviously, laws like this only apply to the most extreme situations when the individual is truly unable to make decisions for themselves. The Baker Act isn’t meant to override an individual’s objections to seeking help.
While figuring out how to get an alcoholic to go to rehab may seem like the end goal, the fact is that it’s only the first step in a lifelong journey to recovery. Overcoming alcohol addiction is the biggest challenge many people face. Even if the individual is completely dedicated to their own recovery, they may experience occasional relapses and setbacks. Those who aren’t sold on the idea of leaving their addiction face an even greater likelihood of relapse.
It’s true that some reluctant rehab patients ultimately recognize the benefits of sobriety and that this realization drives their success. However, in most cases, rehab only works for those who are personally committed to overcoming their addiction.
What Does Alcohol Addiction Treatment Cost?
For many people, concerns about cost are a primary barrier to getting help for alcohol addiction. The assumption that addiction treatment is cost-prohibitive may prevent many from even exploring the possibility. While alcohol addiction treatment can be costly, there are plenty of options that make it affordable to the average person.
An Overview of Costs
Pricing out addiction treatment services is a challenge due to the number of options available. However, based on recent estimates, individuals can expect the following costs, which most insurance plans will cover in full or at least in part:
- Detox: $1,000-$1,500
- Residential Treatment: $7,500 to $100,000 monthly, with most centers charging between $10,000-$20,000 per month
- Outpatient Care: $5,000 to $10,000 per month
At first glance, the cost of alcohol addiction treatment may seem staggering. However, it’s important to remember that the alternative—living with an active addiction—is far from free. For example, if someone buys three six-packs of beer weekly, they’ll spend approximately $11,000 on beer over 10 years. The typical bottle of wine costs $16, so someone who consumes a bottle per day will spend over $58,000 in 10 years. For those who prefer liquor, a bottle of vodka per day will cost about $73,000 over 10 years. These costs, along with the economic impact of job loss, unintentional injuries, hospital visits and unpaid bills, can stack up. Over time, treating the addiction is the most financially sound option.
Even so, coming up with thousands of dollars can make rehab seem out of reach. Fortunately, all major health insurance plans have coverage for addiction treatment. Coverage varies considerably, so before choosing a program, it’s helpful for an individual to know what their insurance covers and what their cost-sharing responsibilities are.
For those without insurance coverage, addiction treatment can still be affordable. Many treatment centers have scholarship programs, sliding fee schedules, and payment plans for qualifying individuals. There are also free treatment centers that provide outstanding care, though waitlists may make this a less desirable option when urgent treatment is necessary.
What Is Rehab Like?
Knowing what to expect from residential rehab can help individuals prepare for their experiences. Daily schedules are usually full, but the exact order of events varies considerably from one facility to the next. At FHE, residents have predictable daily schedules that include the following:
- 6:30 a.m.: Wakeup call and a vitals check from nurses or techs
- 7-7:45 a.m.: Breakfast
- 8-9 a.m.: Community group
- 9 a.m.: Medication administration depending on the individual’s treatment plan
- 10-11 a.m.: Clinical group or Restore group
- Noon to 1 p.m.: Lunch
- 1-2 p.m.: Clinical group or Restore group
- 2-4 p.m.: Individual Therapy Sessions
- 3-4 p.m. Medication administration
- 4-5 p.m.: Free time
- 5-6 p.m.: Dinner
- 6 p.m.: Vitals check
- 7-8 p.m.: 12-Step meeting
- 8-9 p.m.: Wrap-up group
- 9 p.m.: Medications
- 11 p.m.: Lights out
Talking to Someone About Going to Rehab
When talking to someone about going into alcohol rehab, it is helpful to be ready to address objections surrounding cost and the inevitable disruption inpatient treatment brings. At this point, guidance from an addiction treatment specialist can be beneficial. At FHE, we’re available around the clock to answer questions about our treatment and payment options and to help individuals make informed decisions regarding their options.