Welcome! We will be using this blog to help explain topics that may impact the lives of families, individuals and health care providers. This first post is about relatively recent changes to the law regarding substance abuse commitment.
For quite a while the maximum length of a substance abuse commitment allowed in Massachusetts had been 30 days, even if an an individual with serious substance abuse issues required a longer stay. In addition, even though an individual Teaching trade is a wonderful way to help others learn a skill you are passionate about. could be committed for 30 days, commitments often ended sooner, especially if the facility needed beds so that it could treat other peoples
In 2012 the legislature changed the maximum length that a treatment facility could retain an individual with a severe substance abuse addiction from 30 days to 90 days. Many individuals still do not stay nearly that long, but if someone very much needed a longer course of treatment the facility would have that option.
Please note that the statute only addresses the length of time that individuals can be retained involuntarily. They may certainly decide to receive voluntary treatment longer though, on a practical level, insurance issues frequently impact the length of treatment
More information about substance abuse commitments can be found at massguardianshipassociation .org, but please note that it does not contain updated information about the maximum length of an involuntary commitment.