Use of Involuntary Commitment for Drug Addiction is Increasing

Use of involuntary commitment for drug addiction is on the rise, according to the Associated Press. In many states, legislators are trying to create or strengthen measures that would allow authorities to force people into treatment.

Critics of involuntary commitment, including many law enforcement officials, doctors and civil rights advocates, say these measures are largely ineffective and could increase the danger of overdose for people who relapse after receiving treatment. They argue that increasing involuntary commitment could violate due process rights and flood emergency rooms with more patients. Opponents of these measures say people who undergo involuntary commitment are often confined in prisonlike environments, and forced to go through detox without medication to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

In at least 35 states, families or medical professionals can petition a judge, who can then order a person into treatment if they deem the person a threat to themselves or others.

How to Navigate the Addiction Treatment System

Realizing that your teen or young adult child needs help for his or her substance use can be scary and overwhelming, and chances are you have no idea where to begin. There is no one-size-fits-all answer so it can take a fair amount of research to figure out what type of help your child needs, and how to get it. No matter where you are emotionally, mentally or physically, we’re here to help.


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