Can My Parents Force Me to Go to Rehab in New Jersey?
One of the most painful, challenging decisions parents may ever have to make is to send their child to an addiction treatment center. No parent wants to admit that their child has a drug or alcohol problem, but addiction can happen to anyone at any age. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to convince a child or teenager to go to rehab. Children of all ages can be defiant and confrontational when it comes to the prospect of going to rehab. If your parents are trying to force you to go to rehab in New Jersey, you may understand just how frustrating this can be.
Can Your Parents Force You to Go to Rehab if You Are Under 18?
If you are under the age of 18, you are a minor and don’t have as many rights as people who are 18 and older do. This means your parents can still make important medical decisions for you. In many states, parents can check their children who are minors into inpatient or outpatient drug treatment facilities.
However, New Jersey’s laws requiring minors’ consent to treatment are unique. If you are under 18 in New Jersey, your parents can force you to go to a mental health treatment facility even if you do not consent. However, if your parents want to place you in a drug treatment facility, your consent is required. Your parents cannot simply drop you off at a drug rehab facility and expect them to provide care for you unless you provide your written consent. Your parents can physically drag you to the facility, but the program cannot provide care to you until you consent.
With that said, your parents can explore legal avenues to mandate you to go to an addiction treatment facility while you are still a minor. Or, they can take you to a mental health treatment facility and hope that resolving your mental health issues will help you stop using drugs or alcohol.
Can Your Parents Force You to Go to Rehab if You Are Over 18?
The moment you turn 18, you are no longer a minor. You now have control over your medical care and personal life decisions. Your parents cannot force you to get into the car and go to rehab and they can’t force you to stay at a treatment facility. Similarly, they cannot force you to attend an outpatient program.
However, even if you are over 18, your parents can explore legal routes that will allow them to force you to go to rehab. In New Jersey, anyone can file for involuntary commitment. If granted by the judge, you will be required, by law, to get a mental health or substance abuse evaluation. The judge will review the findings of this evaluation and may decide to mandate you to a substance abuse treatment facility.
Only people who are a threat to themselves or others, incapable of caring for themselves, or are severely impaired may qualify for involuntary commitment in New Jersey.
Why You Should Consider Consenting to Treatment if Your Parents Are Trying to Force You to
Whether you want to admit it or not, your parents know you better than most people do. They also likely have your best interest at heart. If your family, friends, or loved ones are concerned about your well-being and trying to convince you to go to rehab, you should probably listen.
If you are under 18 and addicted to drugs or alcohol, know that your addiction will only get worse the longer you avoid getting help. Addiction is a progressive and chronic disease that almost always gets worse without treatment. People who never seek treatment usually end up in jail, in an institution, or dead.
As a young person, you still have your whole life ahead of you. Spending a month or two at a rehab facility will make sure you can live your life to its fullest. It’s also easier to treat substance use disorder early on. The earlier you seek treatment, the easier it will be to get sober and stay sober.
Teens who get help for their drug or alcohol abuse are less likely to abuse substances in the future, struggle financially and academically, and get into trouble with the criminal justice system. You could save yourself a lifetime of trouble by going to rehab when your parents ask you to do so.
Find Help for Yourself or an Addicted Loved One
The consequences of addiction are powerful, long-lasting, and far-reaching. Despite how good it may feel to get high or drunk, it feels even better to live a life full of love, support, and passion. While you may be angry when your parents try to force you to go to rehab, it’s important to remember that they love you and want the best for you.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, our team at New Jersey Interventions can help. We work with the highest-rated addiction treatment centers in New Jersey as well as the most experienced addiction intervention specialists. We can help you find the right treatment program or convince an addicted loved one to go to rehab. Regardless of your needs, we can help.
Contact us today to speak with an addiction specialist.
Medically Reviewed: December 15, 2021
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.