can you force someone to go to rehab in New Jersey

Can You Force Someone to Go to Rehab in New Jersey?

Alcoholism and drug addiction are serious conditions that require comprehensive treatment services to make a full recovery. Individuals suffering from substance use disorders must receive a combination of detox, individual therapy, group counseling, and relapse prevention services to achieve long-term sobriety. Unfortunately, many people avoid attending rehab for several reasons, including the cost of treatment, denial, and fear of the unknown. 

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), while 10% of the population is addicted, 75% of them never receive the help they need.[1]

When someone refuses rehab, friends and family are left wondering what their options are. If your loved one is avoiding addiction treatment, you might be wondering if you can force them to go to rehab in New Jersey. 

Understanding New Jersey’s Involuntary Commitment Laws

Thankfully, New Jersey has involuntary commitment laws that make it possible for you to force a loved one to go to rehab. However, there is a formal process that you must complete to make it possible to force someone into addiction treatment.

Proving a Need for Treatment 

The first step in involuntary commitment is obtaining proof that your loved one has a problem with drugs or alcohol.[2] This could involve getting records from a therapist, medical doctor, or psychiatrist that can detail their need for involuntary commitment. Additionally, if your loved one has been to rehab in the past you could use this as proof that they suffer from a substance use disorder that requires involuntary rehab.

Once you have obtained proof and documents detailing your loved one’s addiction, you might be asked to prove that they are a danger to themselves or others.[2] The court helping you with involuntary commitment might want to see that your loved one’s addiction has caused them to become unable to provide for their own basic needs or make informed decisions for themselves.

Getting a Ruling From a Judge 

After you present all of your proof to a judge, they can decide whether involuntary commitment is necessary. If they approve forced rehab, your loved one will have to undergo a mental health evaluation within 48 hours. The results of this assessment will help the judge determine whether your loved one requires inpatient or outpatient treatment

Do You Have to Pay for Rehab During Involuntary Commitment in New Jersey?

Most states that allow involuntary commitment require you to pay the full price of treatment when your loved one is forced to go to rehab through the court system. This can make it difficult for families to get their addicted loved one the help they need, as rehab can be extremely expensive. Thankfully, New Jersey does not require you to pay all of the rehab fees. 

Typically, the state of New Jersey will cover 90% of the treatment costs when you involuntarily commit someone. This means you will only have to cover 10%, which makes it much easier to afford treatment. It is important to note that this is usually based on income, so if your loved one makes enough money to afford treatment they might be asked to pay more than 10%. 

While most of the cost of rehab will be covered, you will be expected to pay your own court fees.

Does Forcing Someone to Go to Rehab Really Work?

While many people believe a person needs to hit rock bottom and decide recovery is what they want, this is not always the case. Sometimes, being forced into rehab is what someone needs to realize they can recover from addiction. When someone is in denial, involuntary commitment can be the wake-up call they need to realize they need help. 

It is important to note that the success of involuntary commitment will vary from person to person. If you know your loved one’s personality well, it can be easy to determine if forcing them into rehab will help them realize that they need help or not. While this is a wake-up call for some individuals, it might push others away. 

Thankfully, once your loved one is in a New Jersey rehab program, they will have access to professional mental health providers who are trained in helping people realize recovery is what they need. Even if your loved one is not ready for treatment, involuntary commitment can be the push they need to have a breakthrough. 

Signs Your Loved One Needs Involuntary Commitment 

Sometimes it can be hard to determine whether it’s time to force a loved one to go to rehab in New Jersey. You should only use forced rehab as a last-ditch attempt when nothing else is working to get your loved one the help they need. 

Signs your loved one needs to be forced into rehab include:

  • Losing access to basic needs because of their addiction (i.e. food, housing, or jobs)
  • Experiencing life-threatening situations as a result of substance abuse like frequent overdoses, motor vehicle accidents, or other types of risky behaviors
  • Severe declines in mental health due to addiction such as suicidal behavior, self-harm, or psychosis 
  • Becoming unable to care for their basic needs because of substance abuse

Find Help for an Addicted Loved One in New Jersey

If your loved one suffers from alcoholism or addiction, it’s time to consider professional treatment. Whether they are willing to go to rehab or you are going through the involuntary commitment process, Living Room New Jersey is here to help. 

Please contact us today for more information on our addiction treatment programs.


  1. The National Institutes of Health (NIH): 10 percent of US adults have drug use disorder at some point in their lives, Retrieved October 2023 From

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