It’s for your own good. Clink! –

July 9, 2020 – While all states have procedures for committing individuals to psychiatric care if they are perceived to be violent or in imminent danger of hurting themselves, until recently these laws did not typically apply to substance use cases, which were frequently the domain of the criminal courts.

Over the past decade, civil commitment laws have taken off—an unfortunate consequence of the evolving national conception of addiction as a “disease” over which sufferers have no agency. According to a dataset published last year by researchers from Health in Justice Action Lab at the Northeastern University School of Law, by March 2018, 37 states and the District of Columbia had laws on the books detailing procedures for civilly committing people with substance use disorders. Most of the statutes were enacted or expanded between 2015 and 2018, at the height of the overdose crisis.

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