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How to Get an 18 Year Old Into Drug Rehab

by
author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
How to Get an 18 Year Old Into Drug Rehab
Teen boys doing school work in a drug rehab facility. Photo Credit Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images News/Getty Images

When dealing with a teenager that is using drugs, you may want to send him to a drug rehab program. Unfortunately, if your teen is over the age of 18, he is legally an adult and you cannot send him to the rehab facility without his consent. Doing your research and discussing the problem with him can help, while a visit to the doctor can give him the expert opinion he needs to rethink his life.

Step 1

Research drug rehabilitation facilities in your area, and talk to a counselor if possible. Choosing a drug rehab that caters specifically to young adults may help your 18 year old feel more comfortable about the prospect of heading to drug rehab. Look for amenities like 24/7 nursing staff, psychiatric care and relapse prevention, suggests RecoveryConnection.org. Ask about the treatment options, followup and aftercare to ensure that you choose a drug rehab that helps your teen stop using drugs and maintain her sobriety after being released.

Step 2

Talk to your teen, says Casa Palmera rehabilitation center in Del Mar, Calif. Schedule a time to talk to your 18-year-old on neutral but intimate ground, like your home or a family vacation spot. In a heartfelt, nonaccusatory manner, tell your teen that you are worried about him, that you want him to be healthy and have a successful life. Have the literature from several rehabilitation programs available. You may find that your teen is reluctant to listen, or becomes angry or irate. Be prepared for the fact that the first time your broach the subject likely won't be the last.

Step 3

Make an appointment with your teen's doctor so you can obtain an expert opinion to back up your concerns. Visit with the doctor beforehand and mention your concerns about your teen's drug use. When your teen visits the doctor, the doctor can give a recommendation for the drug rehab program and talk about the importance of becoming drug free.

Step 4

Contact the rehabilitation center if your teen is still reluctant to embark on a program. Notify the center that you are bringing your teen and would like staff to be on hand for an intervention, suggests The Canyon, a rehab facility in Malibu, Calif . Many rehabilitation programs can help you stage an intervention with your teen, where medical facts are presented and you can petition your 18-year-old to try the rehabilitation program. It may be easier to convince your teen to stay at the treatment center when you are already on the premises.

Step 5

Tell your teen that you love her and that the drug rehabilitation program is a measure of that love. While she may be resentful and even belligerent at first, after rehabilitation she may see the sacrifice you've made and be grateful that you suggested drug treatment.

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