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My Aunt is an Alcoholic. How Do We Get Her Into Rehab?

My aunt has been an alcoholic for some time now but it has been out in the open for about 2 years now. She is in her 40's is single and has no kids. Her dad was an alcoholic when they were younger so of course she resents her parents for the way she grew up.

She has two brothers that grew up the same way and neither of them have problems like she does. Anyway, she is starting to really hit rock bottom like we all suspected. She has no job, no money, she is about to lose her house, and has no insurance.

She called my mom yesterday and finally admitted that she has a serious problem and is ready to get help and go to rehab. My mom came home and made all kinds of phone calls trying to find a place to get her in. Once we found one we called her telling her we were coming to get her, to take her to rehab and she said "give me until Monday please".

Should we be forceful with her to go to rehab and just go get her and take her or do we give her the choice to make? I feel like if we let her choose completely she will never go. I also understand that they have to want help to get it but it seems like she wants help she is just too afraid, and feels like she's not ready yet.

In my opinion she will never be ready so she just needs to go. Please tell me if we should be forceful and tell her it's today or never or just let her come around on her own time even though that may be never.


That's an interesting scenario because usually it's a case of someone refusing to go to rehab because they're denying they have a real problem that presents the major challenge.

So as you can see, the fact that your Aunt has admitted to her alcoholism and wants help is a massive breakthrough. The idea though of going to rehab can to some people seem very daunting because it can easily create a lot of fear and negative connotations if you don't really understand/know what it involves.

So I would suggest use a gentle, coaxing approach to begin with. Reassure your aunt that it's going to be okay etc. - because if you go too hard, she may put a wall up again that has just started coming down with her acknowledging her addiction and agreeing to get help.

But you may want to put a kind of deadline on it so she can't stall indefinitely by saying something like - they only have one place left because they are such an excellent facility - so you need to get her there quickly and so have made a special arrangement with them to keep her spot until Monday or whatever especially for her.

See it as a kind of sales job just to get your Aunt over her fear and inertia, which is pretty understandable, making it clear too that you guys will take her and make sure she's okay etc. before you leave.

If this gentle coaxing approach doesn't work, then yes you may have to use a firmer approach, but I don't think it will be necessary. Your Aunt is understandably scared so more than likely just needs some reassurance. It's also worth speaking to the Rehab center themselves to see what they suggest in a case like this because I'm sure it's a scenario they encounter fairly often.

Good Luck

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