Can You Force Someone to Go to Rehab in Texas?

force someone to go to rehab in TexasIt can be incredibly difficult to watch someone you love battle an addiction. Oftentimes, substance use disorders can cause a person to abandon all of their morals, and principles, and even begin isolating from the people they love the most. Knowing that your loved one is suffering from addiction and refusing help can be heartbreaking.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 10% of the population has struggled with addiction and 75% of them never receive treatment.[1]

It is extremely common for people with addiction to refuse help, so many states have implemented involuntary commitment laws. If you live in a state with involuntary commitment laws and you can prove they are dealing with a substance use disorder, you can force them to enter rehab. But can you force someone to go to rehab in Texas?

What is Involuntary Commitment?

Involuntary commitment laws provide the loved ones of an addict with the ability to force them into addiction treatment when they refuse help. However, not every state has these laws in place. As a result, you must seek information about your specific state to determine whether you can force your loved one to attend addiction treatment.

While the procedures vary from state to state, most places that allow involuntary commitment require you to prove the following:

  • The person is a danger to themselves or others
  • The individual cannot seek help for themselves because of their illness
  • They cannot function normally because of their addiction
  • Your loved one lacks effective decision-making skills because of their illness
  • Your loved one cannot take care of themselves because of their addiction

Additionally, each state will have its own set of rules about how long involuntary commitment lasts and who can file the petition to have someone committed. For example, some states may allow relatives to involuntarily commit someone, while others require a psychologist or physician to make the petition.

Does Texas Allow You to Force Someone into Rehab?

If you live in Texas, you might be wondering whether you can involuntarily commit someone to rehab. Thankfully, the state of Texas does have an involuntary commitment law under the Health & Safety Code § 463.062.[2]

While Texas does allow involuntary commitment, having a judge grant this request can be difficult. As a result, involuntary commitment should always be used as a last resort.

To involuntarily commit someone under this law, you must prove that the person:[2]

  • Has an alleged chemical dependency
  • Is likely to cause serious harm to themselves or others
  • Will continue to suffer from mental, emotional, and physical distress that deteriorates their ability to care for themselves
  • Is unable to make rational decisions as to whether to enter treatment

The process involves proving the individual has a substance use disorder and requires inpatient treatment in a court before a judge. You will need documentation from their doctors, therapists, and any other medical professional that has relevant information. This can be a long and difficult process, making it vital that you exhaust all other options before attempting involuntary commitment.

How Long Does Involuntary Commitment to Rehab in Texas Last?

The length of time you can force someone to attend addiction treatment varies from state to state. In Texas, involuntary commitment only lasts 72 hours. After the 72 hours is over, evidence must be submitted to determine whether the person should remain in treatment or can leave on their own free will.

While involuntary commitment in Texas can be short-lived, sometimes the 72 hours in treatment will convince your loved one that they need more time to recover. However, in many cases, they will want to leave as soon as possible.

If your loved one decides to leave treatment when the courts allow, you should have a plan in place that can prevent them from relapsing. This might include hosting an intervention.

Professional interventions are like meetings between a family and an addicted loved one that are facilitated by an addiction expert. During an intervention, the family members will read impact statements to convince the loved one that they need help for their substance use disorder. Having an intervention can ensure that your loved one agrees to return to treatment if they relapse.

Get Connected With a Top-Rated Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center in Texas

If your loved one struggles with an addiction in Texas, you’ve come to the right place. At Alamo Behavioral Health, we can provide your loved one with the tools and support they need to maintain long-term recovery. Additionally, we will treat the root causes of their addiction rather than just their symptoms of substance use disorder.

To learn more about involuntary commitment and how Alamo Behavioral Health can help, please contact us today.


  1. The National Institutes of Health (NIH): 10 percent of US adults have drug use disorder at some point in their lives, Retrieved August 2023 From
  2. The National Judicial Opioid Task Force: Involuntary Commitment and Guardianship Laws for Persons with a Substance Use Disorder, Retrieved August 2023 From

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