When someone starts abusing drugs or alcohol, it’s very likely that they will eventually become addicted to the substance in question. As addiction progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult for the affected individual to admit a problem and seek treatment through rehab. If someone close to you becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol but won’t seek help, you may be wondering about the possibility of involuntary commitment. The following guide takes a closer look at the obligatory commitment laws in New Jersey and how you can get someone to enter rehab.
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What Does Involuntary Commitment Mean?
Involuntary commitment is a legal process that allows individuals who are deemed to be suffering from substance addiction to receive involuntary treatment in a drug rehab facility. While this option is available in some states, it’s the last resort that should only be considered if the individual in question won’t seek drug rehab themselves.
While involuntary commitment was meant to be used solely for individuals with symptoms of a severe mental disorder, it has since spread to addiction treatment. In any state where involuntary commitment is allowed, having someone committed to a drug rehab facility involuntarily is difficult and time-consuming.
How Involuntary Commitment Works in New Jersey
New Jersey is one of the small states that still allows involuntary commitment. If you believe that someone close to you is a danger to themselves or others because of substance addiction, you can look into involuntary commitment. However, the criteria must be met to have someone involuntarily committed to a rehab center are strict.
It’s not enough to be concerned about the person abusing drugs or alcohol. Even though involuntary commitment is no longer used in many states, it remains a legal process that involves numerous steps. The first step consists in proving that your loved one currently has an issue with abusing alcohol or drugs.
This proof can come in many forms. For instance, you could obtain previous treatment records associated with the person’s addiction. Evidence can also come from a referral that a mental health professional provides. There are only a small number of times when a statement about the person’s substance abuse would be enough to have them involuntarily committed.
Once you’ve proven that the individual in question has a substance abuse problem, you will likely need to provide evidence that shows the person is a danger to others or themselves. You can also show that the person would cause harm or the risk of injury if they aren’t committed to a rehab facility in the near future. Remember that the exact amount of evidence you will need to provide differs from case to case since different judges can provide various rulings.
In certain situations, you might need to prove that the person suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction is so incapacitated that they can’t make sound decisions on their own or provide for their own needs. It’s important to understand that having someone committed to a drug rehab facility against their will is meant to be a complex process. If you can provide the state court system with enough evidence, they may grant the request.
Once you’ve gathered all necessary evidence, your next step would be to file a petition directly with the NJ court system. After the petition is filed, a hearing date will be set. At this hearing, the affected individual can have an attorney represent their case. Once the judge hears all arguments, they will decide to grant or deny the commitment.
If commitment is granted, the affected individual will need to go through a standard mental health evaluation. This evaluation will need to occur within 48 hours following the initial hearing. Once this evaluation has taken place, the judge will mandate no treatment, inpatient treatment, or outpatient treatment. Their decision will be based on recommendations given by a mental health specialist.
Methods for Getting Someone to Attend Rehab
Along with involuntary commitment, there are a couple of additional options to consider when you’re attempting to get a loved one to enter rehab. While court-ordered drug rehab is not the most straightforward option at your disposal, it may be the only one available to you if your loved one won’t enter treatment themselves. You might also want to consider emergency hospitalization.
Emergency hospitalization may be necessary if your loved one requires any amount of emergency care as a direct result of their substance addiction. Keep in mind that the requirements for this option are similar to those you would need to meet for court-ordered rehab. If you want your loved one to obtain emergency hospitalization, you must request a judge that states why the affected individual requires hospitalization.
Another option involves holding an intervention, which is typically the last step used before seeking an involuntary commitment. An intervention is designed to open up the possibility of the affected individual deciding to enter a rehab program. In most cases, an intervention involves sitting down with friends and family members to speak directly to those currently suffering from an addiction.
During an intervention, an injunction may be issued. If you provide financial support to the individual, you could give a request that states you will no longer provide financial support unless your loved one enters rehab. When someone is abusing drugs or alcohol, they are typically unable to look objectively at their situation. An intervention is meant to provide an individual with the perfect environment to realize that there are consequences for their addiction and that treatment is needed. You can host an intervention on your own or with the help of a professional interventionist.
How Is Court-Mandated Rehab Paid for in New Jersey?
If your request for court-mandated rehab is granted, you may be wondering how to pay for rehab costs. In most states that allow involuntary commitment, the patient or their families are directly responsible for covering treatment costs. New Jersey, however, operates differently. If you live in New Jersey, the state must pay 90% of the total costs for involuntary treatment, which means that you would only be tasked with paying 10% of the total costs. The exact amount you pay can differ somewhat depending on your income.
If your loved one has the income needed to pay for treatment, the county adjuster’s office could determine that most of the treatment costs must be covered by the individual. Regardless of the amount that you or your loved one is responsible for paying, this amount could be covered by an insurance policy. Suppose the rehab facility that your loved one enters is an in-network facility, the only costs you would be expected to pay include the copay and coinsurance payments. Additional charges include the fees for the court hearing as well as the fees for filing a petition. These costs shouldn’t be too high.
Does Rehab Produce Effective Results When Someone is Forced to Attend?
While involuntary commitment is legally allowed in New Jersey, that doesn’t automatically mean that it works. In reality, there isn’t much evidence that says one way or another what the results of court-ordered rehab are. Your main goal should be to get your loved one into a rehab facility, the first step towards recovery.
It’s important to understand that most people suffering from addiction decide to enter rehab because they don’t want to continue experiencing the same feelings that addiction has caused. Only a small number of these patients even think about getting sober. However, when your loved one takes the first step towards recovery, they are considerably more likely to take the second and third steps.
Once your loved one enters a rehab facility, treatment and therapy will be administered by qualified medical and addiction professionals who understand what the treatment process entails. Some types of treatment typically administered in a rehab center include group therapy, one-on-one counseling, family therapy, and behavioral therapy.
If you believe that someone close to you has become addicted to drugs or alcohol, now may be the right time to consider the treatment options available to your loved one. Get in touch with NJ Addiction Resources today to learn more about the best treatment facilities in New Jersey and the top programs in other states.