It is not uncommon for people to ask about having their addicted loved one committed against their will. Although this may seem like a good idea when it comes to trying to get an uncooperative addict to stop their behavior, there are several reasons why it should be considered more of a last resort.
First of all, not all states have laws like Florida’s Marchman Act, where someone can be committed specifically for substance abuse. There are also laws like the Baker Act, where people can be involuntarily committed for 72 hours, but those are more for mental health matters. Although the lines are blurred with dual-diagnosis issues, and there is a strong case to be made that people are acting as a serious threat to themselves and others when they are addicted to alcohol and other drugs, there are still too many variables.
One of the biggest problems with situations where people rush to involuntary commitments is that their loved ones become resentful, and thus even more determined to rebel. This can turn into their drinking and drugging actually escalating and making the situation worse.
A better approach at first is to try a professional intervention. Intervention specialists are experts at handling these types of situations and getting addicts and alcoholics to agree to enter into a detox or treatment program. Even if the initial agreement is to appease others or avoid jail time, it is a step in the right direction, and once sobriety sets in they are much more likely to respond well to treatment.
If all other attempts to intervene have failed, then it may be time to consider having them committed in order to save their lives, with the potential of performing another intervention during their brief period of sobriety to get them to agree to be transferred to a preferred treatment facility rather than the lockdown place where they are being held.