Can I Put My Husband In Rehab? 4 Powerful Options

Dealing with drug addiction is never easy, and it can be especially difficult when your spouse is the one struggling. If a problem becomes too severe, you might wonder, “Can I put my husband in rehab?” Knowing you are not alone is important when married to someone with a substance abuse disorder. Addiction affects millions of people worldwide, and there is help available.

GateHouse Treatment understands that asking or making a loved one begin rehabilitation is one of the most important decisions you can ever make. Researching your options is important to decide what is best for your family and husband. This article will answer key questions you may have about rehabilitation and how to begin the process.

Can I Put My Husband in Rehab?

Yes, placing your husband or significant other in rehab is possible.

When considering rehabilitation, there are various avenues you need to consider. The simplest of these paths is a conversation where you try to make your husband understand how drug use hurts himself and others. If you believe this is inappropriate, there is the option of intervention, a gathering of those closest to your husband, usually overseen by a therapist. Finally, there is involuntary commitment, the most extreme of the options, and a last reserve for emergencies. We will cover all three below.

1. Rehabilitation Conversation

Sometimes, drug users understand their addiction is harmful and unsustainable, though they won’t admit it publicly. In this case, it takes a push to convince them to improve for the better. Broaching the subject of rehabilitation is difficult because it can turn into a fight with your spouse. It’s important to avoid approaching this conversation from an adversarial place or leading with recriminations.

Substance abuse is a condition, not a character trait. It often has genetic components; when someone struggles with addiction, their brain and actions differ. This fact bears remembering as you try to remind your spouse that their drug use does not define them. When abusing drugs, they are not themselves. As difficult as it may seem, you should maintain your composure during this conversation. Do not shout or accuse, but plainly state how drug addiction has affected your life and marriage.

Avoid having the conversation while your husband is under the influence, and choose a time and place where they feel safe. Be prepared to listen to them; they may need to excuse themselves or vent. Set clear boundaries and expectations about what will happen if they do not seek treatment. Finally, do your research before having a conversation. Know what type of therapy you seek and have a plan ready once your spouse agrees. The quicker they can enter rehabilitation, the sooner they return to their old self.

2. How Does Rehabilitation Work?

Rehabilitation usually begins with a detox. Depending on which drug an addict tries to remove from their system, this can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. In the case of opiates and sometimes even alcohol, it is best to detox under professional supervision, as the side effects can be severe and sometimes life-threatening. The duration of a rehab program can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the addiction, the type of treatment program, and the individual’s response to treatment. Generally, rehab can last anywhere from 30 days to several months or even a year.

These programs often involve a combination of therapy, counseling, group support, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). They come in several forms, such as outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization, depending on how much time they can spendon betterment. Your spouse will attend therapies many hours a week, with the number of hours necessary increasing depending on the severity of the addiction. It is possible to continue living with your spouse and having a daily routine with them if the addiction is manageable with treatment overall. Otherwise, the option of sober homes during their recovery is something to consider.

It’s important to note that recovery from addiction is an ongoing process that requires ongoing support and treatment. Even after completing a rehab program, individuals may receive support through ongoing therapy, counseling, and support groups to help them maintain their sobriety and prevent relapse.

3. Intervention for Spouses

If you would prefer support while having this conversation with your spouse, there is strength in numbers. An intervention operates by similar principles to a one-on-one conversation, involving more people on a larger scale. Everything said before still applies, no yelling, no blaming, do it while sober, etc., except now everyone must be on the same page, which means planning for a successful intervention is key.

Start by assembling a team of people close to your spouse that care about him. There may be difficult calls, such as excluding people you know who wouldn’t understand the intricacies of drug addiction and will snap if provoked during the intervention. Next, have everyone draft and compare what they will say. This intervention letter provides a roadmap to remind the participants they are doing this out of love. If the intervention gets heated, these prepared talking points keep everyone on the message.

The things said to the target of the intervention should be exact and detailed. Do not be vague; mention and describe specific events to ensure there is no misunderstanding and your words land with sufficient impact. Include how the addict’s actions affected your feelings and those of others. It also helps to contact an experienced professional who can help plan and moderate interactions as a neutral third party. Finally, like with the one-on-one conversation, arrange everything beforehand to begin rehab as soon as possible.

4. Involuntary Commitment

If you’re considering involuntary commitment, it means you have exhausted all other options. As this involves confining someone against their will, this is a legal process called civil commitment. The laws for how to accomplish this will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but generally, the process involves the following steps:


  • Evaluation: A mental health professional or a physician determines if the person meets the criteria for involuntary commitment. These criteria typically include the person being a danger to themselves or others, unable to care for themselves or making informed decisions about their treatment.
  • Petition: A petition is filed with the court if the person meets the criteria for involuntary commitment. This petition usually includes a statement from the person seeking the commitment and a statement from the mental health professional or physician who conducted the evaluation.
  • Hearing: A judge then decides whether to grant the petition for involuntary commitment during a formal hearing. The person who is the subject of the petition has the right to representation by an attorney and to present their evidence.
  • Treatment: If the judge grants the petition, the person is placed into a treatment facility to receive care for their addiction. The length of the treatment can vary depending on the individual’s needs and the jurisdiction’s laws.

Sometimes emergency laws allow for involuntary confidence in extreme cases, but they are usually followed by an evaluation and hearing quickly afterward. This option is the absolute last resort. Consider contacting a lawyer before taking steps in this direction.

GateHouse Treatment and Rehab

If your spouse suffers from a substance abuse issue, we are here to help. We offer top-of-the-line rehabilitation therapies in outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization forms. We also work with sober homes to provide the best environment for recovery, offering innovative treatments like adventure therapy and biofeedback training.

Please get in touch with us if you need assistance staging an intervention or understanding your options. Call (855) 448-3588 or reach out on our website for a free consultation.

GateHouse Treatment Editorial Staff
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