How Does Court-Ordered Rehab in Indiana Work? - PAX Riverbend

How Does Court-Ordered Rehab Work in Jeffersonville, Indiana?

court ordered rehab in Indiana

Watching a friend or family member slowly lose the battle with addiction is a devastating experience. And, if this person refuses to get help, their loved ones may resort to looking for court-ordered rehab in Indiana. The good news is that involuntary commitment laws make it possible to force someone to go to rehab in Indiana. Here is everything you need to know.

Can You Force Someone To Go To Rehab in Indiana?

If you have a loved one who lives in Indiana and is struggling with addiction, there is a chance you are able to force them to go to a local rehab center. This is because Indiana is one of many states that have involuntary commitment laws that allow individuals to mandate others to a drug and alcohol treatment program.

Commitment is a term that described the legal status of a person who is receiving mental or behavioral healthcare. It also refers to the actual legal process of issuing a court order for mental health care. This specific order is known as a commitment order.

There are two types of commitment orders: voluntary admission and involuntary commitment. A person who is over 18 years of age and agrees to go to a treatment program is said to have a voluntary admission. The person may agree to work with the court, sign legal paperwork, and have coordination of care.

Involuntary commitment, on the other hand, is when an individual is mandated to a treatment facility against his or her will. There are five types of involuntary commitments:[1]

  1. Immediate detention – A person is ordered to go to rehab immediately for an evaluation, but cannot be held more than 24 hours.
  2. Emergency detention – May be used in case of emergencies, harm, or danger and can be held for up to 72 hours.
  3. Temporary commitment – A person may be held for further evaluation and can be admitted to treatment for up to 90 days.
  4. Regular commitment – A person is mandated to attend regular treatment sessions on an outpatient basis or for more than 90 days.
  5. Criminal commitment – May result from a criminal case if the person requires mental health treatment.

Who Qualifies for Involuntary Commitment in Indiana

In Indiana, commitment orders can mandate patients to inpatient or outpatient services depending on the nature of their disease. Patients should meet at least one of the three following statutes:[1]

  1. Mental illness (Indiana Code 12-7-2-130 (1)) – A person has developed a psychiatric disorder that significantly impairs his or her thinking, feeling, and behavior. It must also impair his or her ability to function. The term “mental illness” includes people with alcoholism, addiction, and intellectual disability.
  2. Dangerous (Indiana Code 12-7-2-53) – A person has a condition which, as a result of their mental illness, puts them at severe risk of harming themselves or other people.
  3. Gravely disabled (Indiana Code 12-7-2-96) – A person, as a result of his or her mental illness, is at risk of danger because he or she cannot provide basic human needs or he or she has an obvious and substantial decline in judgment and independent functioning.

It is easiest to force someone to go to rehab in Indiana if he or she is a minor. This is because minors do not have the right to refuse treatment, give consent to treatment, or stop others from reviewing his or her treatment records.

If the person is over 18 years of age, however, there is a process people must go through to send their loved one to court-ordered rehab in Indiana.[2]

Filing For Court-Ordered Rehab In Indiana

If family members or friends want to force their loved ones to go to rehab, they will need to file a petition with the courts. If there is enough evidence of a mental or behavioral health issue, the person may be transported to a mental health facility where he or she will be held for an initial evaluation.

This evaluation is conducted by a psychiatrist who can determine which level of care is appropriate for treatment and whether or not the person qualifies for involuntary commitment. If the person does need more treatment, further arrangements will be made with the courts, the family, and the patient’s insurance to transition them to their treatment program.

If a person is to leave court-ordered rehab early, he or she may be found contempt of court in Indiana and be susceptible to fines or arrest.

Find Help for Yourself or a Loved One

Many people who suffer from addiction fall into a state of denial where they fail to realize the gravity of their substance abuse. Denial can be deadly because it can cause a person to delay getting help until it is too late. Fortunately, there are involuntary commitment laws that allow family members to help loved ones who are unable to help themselves.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, please don’t wait any longer. Contact our dedicated treatment specialists in Indiana today.



Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.