"Kim went to rehab finally because she got arrested, she humiliated her kids and she wants to avoid jail," a source tells PEOPLE.
"If the arrest hadn't happened she wouldn't be going to rehab; it would be business as usual. She's in denial that she has a problem."
The catalyst for her entry into a treatment facility following "increasingly out of it behavior," as a source close to her family told PEOPLE, was Richards' arrest on April 16 at the Beverly Hills Hotel for public intoxication.
Richards, 50, "was displaying symptoms of alcohol intoxication including slurred speech and belligerent insolent behavior cursing at the officers and passively resisted arrest," read a statement from the Beverly Hills Police Department following her arrest. She was also charged with trespassing, resisting an officer and battery on a police officer.
As a source inside the hotel told PEOPLE, Richards became "aggressive" and "loud" in the hours leading up to her arrest at 1:30 a.m. after officers responded to "a report of a possible fight." The source added that the reality star had been drinking vodka and that "it was clear that she was very drunk."
Richards was "embarrassed" about the incident, a longtime family friend told PEOPLE, but resistant to the idea of rehab despite urging from her family and the people who care about her.
"A big part of all of this is that she is just stressed out," said the friend. Richards' ex-husband, Monty Brinson, and the father of her daughter, Brooke, is battling stage IV cancer. "She is under a lot of pressure, especially because of Monty."
"I was angry and frightened and I was scared," Richards told Dr. Phil in an interview following her arrest, set to air Tuesday, April 28. "I knew what I had done. The whole night is my fault. None of this would have happened if I didn’t drink."
Reporting by AILI NAHAS