What Should We Do With Someone Who Recently Overdosed But Refuses To Go To Treatment?

Having a loved one experience an overdose may have been your biggest nightmare. No one wants to think that drug addiction could go this far, but it happens often to people who deserve to live a happy life. Depending upon your loved one’s drug of choice, an overdose may be an unfortunately common concern.

Opioids are especially known for causing overdoses, and your loved one’s risk for having a severe reaction to drugs goes up if they mix substances. Street drugs are also notoriously hard to identify, and many dealers mix substances in ways that can make them far too strong for the body to handle.

Sadly, having an overdose isn’t always enough to convince someone to seek professional help. Figuring out what to do with someone who recently overdosed but refuses to go to treatment takes a little work, but you can rest assured that there are options in place to help them get sober.

Initiate a Plan to Take Care of Yourself

Dealing with someone who almost died but won’t stop using drugs is often baffling, confusing and fear-inducing. You’ve got a lot of stress on your plate, and it may even be hard to sleep at night not knowing where your loved one is or if they are okay.

Your first point of action is to find ways to take care of yourself. Much like you should put the oxygen mask on first in an airplane emergency, you need to be calm and rational when you help your loved one. Reach out to an addiction treatment center to begin working with a counselor who can help you manage your emotions and start finding hope again. You’ll also want to start exploring how addiction impacts the mind. Your loved one doesn’t want to get help because the drugs have generated changes in their brain that makes getting sober seem impossible.

For example, opioids change the reward center of the brain to the point that people lose their motivation to work towards goals. Depression is also common among drug addicts, and leaving underlying mental health conditions untreated may make it harder for your loved one to see the point in going to rehab.

Consider Filing for the Marchman Act

In Florida, the Marchman Act is an option that is designed to help people who can no longer make safe or sane decisions for themselves. As someone who has had a recent overdose, it may be possible to prove that your loved one has lost their ability to control their substance misuse and that this places them at risk of serious bodily harm that includes long-term injuries or even death.

While you may hesitate to force your loved one to go into treatment, many families find that this is their last ditch option before they lose them completely. With the Marchman Act in place, your loved one will be required to stay at an addition treatment facility for no more than five days where they will undergo a professional assessment and observation period. After that, the findings from this time will be submitted to the court where a final decision will be made about whether your loved one will be ordered to continue treatment. If they are, then they may be issued an order to stay at the treatment facility for no more than 60 days.

Filing for the Marchman Act can be done by a family member or others who have a close relationship to the person. You could also work with a lawyer, but this can sometimes be costly. Addiction interventionists and counselors from a professional treatment program are often the best people to help you make sure the application is filed properly.

Plan to Encourage Long Term Addiction Care

Getting your loved one into treatment is a momentous event in their sobriety. For someone who has had an overdose, you’ll want to know that even a full 60 days might not be enough to help them stay sober. Fortunately, this is long enough to help your loved one’s body and mind to clear the drugs from their system. Towards the end of their stay, they should be capable of beginning to think rationally about their lifestyle.

As you talk to them, consider asking them what their long-term plans are so that you can provide support. They may need a ride to group therapy programs in the evenings, or they may want you to attend counseling sessions together. Letting them know that you are willing to work with them as they adjust to life at home helps them keep up their treatment. Caring for someone who had an overdose is scary. Are you ready to find a new way to help them seek treatment? Give us a call today at 844-639-8371 to find support for making sure that they go to rehab.

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