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Massachusetts State Law provides for a variety of court ordered involuntary assessment,commitment, and treatment solutions for substance abuse and mental health disorders on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.Section 12 Massachusetts or Pink Paper Massachusetts and Section 35 Massachusetts are examples of statues in place to initiate and provide involuntary hospital assessments in the State of Massachusetts.
Section 12 Massachusetts or Pink Paper Massachusetts
House Bill 4681, an Act to Improve Emergency Access to Mental Health Services is an order to transport to a hospital an individual believed to meet the criteria for civil commitment.The Pink Paper Massachusetts orders a mentally ill individual to be restrained and taken to a hospital in the belief that failure to hospitalize would create a likelihood of serious harm by reason of mental illness as evidenced by suicidality, homicidality, and/or markedly impaired judgement due to symptoms of mental illness to such an extent that the person is unable to care/protect self. Upon arrival at the hospital the patient must be evaluated by an appropriate medical professional to determine if involuntarily commitment for a period of 72 hours is required.
Section 35 Massachusetts
“Alcoholic” shall mean a person who chronically or habitually consumes alcoholic beverages to the extent that (1) such use substantially injures his health or substantially interferes with his social or economic functioning, or (2) he has lost the power of self-control over the use of such beverages.For the purposes of this section, “substance abuser” shall mean a person who chronically or habitually consumes or ingests controlled substances or who intentionally inhales toxic vapors to the extent that: (i) such use substantially injures his health or substantially interferes with his social or economic functioning;or (ii) he has lost the power of self-control over the use of such controlled substances or toxic vapors.
Any police officer, physician, spouse, blood relative, guardian or court official may petition in writing any district court or any division of the juvenile court department for an order of commitment of a person whom he has reason to believe is an alcoholic or substance abuser.Upon receipt of a petition for an order of commitment of a person and any sworn statements the court may request from the petitioner,the court shall immediately schedule a hearing on the petition and shall cause a summons and a copy of the application to be served upon the person in the manner provided by section twenty-five of chapter two hundred and seventy-six. In the event of the person’s failure to appear at the time summoned, the court may issue a warrant for the person’s arrest. Upon presentation of such a petition, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that such person will not appear and that any further delay in the proceedings would present an immediate danger to the physical well-being of the respondent, said court may issue a warrant for the apprehension and appearance of such person before it. No arrest shall be made on such warrant unless the person may be presented immediately before a judge of the district court.The person shall
have the right to be represented by legal counsel and may present independent expert or other testimony.
If the court finds the person indigent, it shall immediately appoint counsel. The court shall order examination by a qualified physician or a qualified psychologist.
State laws, such as Section 12 Massachusetts and Section 35 Massachusetts, are in place to support court ordered involuntary treatment, nevertheless, careful planning with a unified approach is essential for successfully using the laws to significantly increase the long term prognosis for your loved one’s recovery. Although Care Plan Pro does not provide legal advice, we do provide professional services to support the recovery process including secure transport, intervention, recovery companion, and comprehensive care management and we work with likeminded professional attorneys throughout the State of Massachusetts and across the country:
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Call: Care Plan Pro toll-free 24/7 at 1-866-547-6237