In order for a person to be involuntarily hospitalized, they must meet the Michigan Mental Health Code definition of a “person requiring treatment.” A person may be seriously mentally ill and still not fit that definition.
Here is the definition of a person requiring treatment according to the Michigan Mental Health Code:
- An individual who has mental illness and who as a result of that mental illness can reasonably be expected within the near future to intentionally or unintentionally seriously physically injure himself or another individual, and who has engaged in an act or acts or made significant threats that are substantially supportive of the expectation.
- An individual who has mental illness, and who as a result of that mental illness is unable to attend to those of his or her basic physical needs such as food, clothing or shelter that must be attended to in order for the individual to avoid serious harm in the near future, and who has demonstrated that inability by failing to attend to those basic physical needs.
- An individual who has mental illness, whose judgment is so impaired that he or she is unable to understand his/her need for treatment and whose continued behavior as the result of this mental illness can reasonably be expected, on the basis of competent medical opinion, to result in significant physical harm to himself or herself or others. This individual shall receive involuntary mental health treatment initially only under the provisions of section 434 through 438 of this act.
(2) An individual whose mental processes have been weakened or impaired by a dementia, an individual with a primary diagnosis of epilepsy, or an individual with alcoholism or other drug dependence is not a person requiring treatment under this chapter unless the individual also meets the criteria specified in subsection (1).
As a family member of a struggling loved one you can use this section of the Michigan mental health code to save them. With the outlines of what constitutes mental illness deserving of involuntary commitment you can easily put your loved one into treatment when their life is on the line without them wanting to go. The process is a difficult one and may require you to testify about your loved one’s behavior in front of a judge but it may very well be worth it if your loved one has begun struggling to the point where you are considering involuntary commitment. The Michigan Mental Health Code is meant to protect your family member and you need to remember there is a chance even if you petition for the involuntary commitment they might not admit your family member. If this is the case, doing what you can for yourself and not enabling is paramount. Chances are though if you feel it is necessary to go through the process of involuntary committing your loved one; they need it. Trust in the fact that you are their family member and know them better than anyone else and have seen their behavior. You know what is bad enough. Trust your gut and do what is right.
If your loved one is struggling with addiction, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
Casey’s Law allows for involuntary treatment, meaning that someone can have their drug addicted loved one evaluated for and admitted into drug treatment even if that person is an adult and is unwilling to get help.
Mathew Casey Wethington’s life and death is the inspiration for this law that allows parents, relatives and/or friends to intervene on the substance use disorder of a loved one, regardless of age and without criminal charges.
At the tragically young age of 23, Mathew Casey Wethington slipped into a heroin-induced coma and later died on August 19, 2002 of what is considered to be a heroin overdose. His family wanted more than anything to give him the right to live a life in recovery. Because he was over the age of 18 and unwilling to seek help voluntarily, his family’s hands were tied – they could not force him to go into treatment.
History of the Act
Casey’s Law is the broader name for The Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Abuse Intervention and became a law on April 9, 2004 and went into effect in the state of Kentucky on July 13, 2004. It is now a means of intervention in Indiana and Ohio, as well.
Premise for Casey’s Law
Early drug use can basically arrest someone’s emotional development at the age of first use. Because Casey began using drugs around 14 or 15 years old, he had the emotionality and rationality of a 14 year old even as he became a young adult. The premise for allowing the intervention of loved ones on the behalf of someone who is addicted to drugs lies within this understanding: someone reacting emotionally as an adolescent (when most addicts’ drug use begins) and who is suffering from an ultimately fatal disease cannot respond in a normal, healthy way and choose to get treatment. Before Casey’s Law, parental intervention was denied by law and even discouraged, at times.
The act provides a means of intervening with someone who is unable to recognize their own need for treatment due to their impairment from drugs. This law will allow parents, relatives and/or friends to petition the court for treatment on behalf of the substance abuse-impaired person.
What is the Process for Using Casey’s Law?
In order to involuntarily commit someone to treatment, the following steps must be taken:
- Get a copy of the petition from the District Court clerk’s office or access it online.
- You, as the loved one of the drug addicted person, will fill out the petition on their behalf and file it with the District Court clerk.
- The court will review your claims made in the petition and will question you under oath.
- The court will determine if there is probable cause to require treatment for your loved one.
- If there is probable cause, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent your loved one, require your loved one to be evaluated, and schedule a hearing within 14 days.
- Your loved one will be notified of the date and purpose of the hearing.
- Your loved one is evaluated by two qualified health professionals, one being a physician, to determine if your loved one could benefit from treatment.
If the judge finds that your loved one needs addiction treatment, the court will order treatment for anywhere between 60 days and 360 days, and can range from detoxification to intensive treatment through recovery. Depending upon your request in the petition and the result of the evaluation, treatment options will vary.
How Casey’s Law is Helping
Every year from 2004 through 2008, there were fewer than 10 petitions filed in the Kentucky counties of Boone, Campbell, and Kenton. According to the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts, these three counties had an increase in cases of a total of 20 in 2009 and in 2010. The number of petitions shot up to 66 in 2011 and 71 in 2012. There has also been a coinciding heroin epidemic to account for the upshot in petitions filed.
For more information on how to use Casey’s Law to help your addicted loved one , please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
CALIFORNIA WELFARE AND INSTITUTIONS CODE, SECTION 5150, second paragraph, “… an application in writing stating the circumstances under which the person’s condition was called to the attention of the officer, member of the attending staff, or professional person, and stating that the officer, member of the attending staff, or professional person has probable cause to believe that the person is, as a result of mental disorder, a danger to others, or to himself or herself, or gravely disabled.”
What is a 5150 hold?
Section 5150, is a section in the California Welfare and Institutions Code which allows a qualified officer or clinician to involuntarily (against their will) confine a person who is deemed to have a mental disorder that makes him or her a danger to themselves or others. A 5150 hold is very similar to a Baker Act but in the state of California.
When section 5150 states a “qualified officer” what they mean is any California peace officer. As for the “clinician”, section 5150 means any designated county clinician. This means that either of these two can request the confinement of an individual after signing a written declaration.
Just like when someone on the east coast is Baker “acted”, someone can also be 5150’ed. In fact when 5150 is used as a term it is pronounced (fifty-one-fifty) it can informally refer to the person who is being confined or the act or declaration itself.
The details of a 5150 hold
The 5150 hold allows someone to be held up to 72 hours against their will. Once a request for a 5150 is filled out by a qualified officer or clinician there is no guarantee that the individual for whom the 5150 is being requested has to stay. The admission of a request just gets the person in the door of the facility they may or may not be staying at for at least 72 hours. After being admitted to the facility the individual will be assessed by the staff there who will decided and determine whether or not a 5150 is appropriate. This is a pre-assessment and just keeps the person there until they can see a mental health professional.
If the staff at the facility find that a 5150 is appropriate, then during the period of confinement, the confined person will be evaluated by a mental health professional also to determine if they should be admitted into a psychiatric unit. If it is found that the individual should be admitted then only the mental health professional (psychiatrist) can remove the 5150 hold. If the 5150 hold didn’t get removed than after the 72 hours are up the psychiatrist will assess the person again and might offer a choice to be voluntarily admitted. If they refuse then another hold for up to two weeks must be requested. At this point the individual will step in front of a judge or hearing officer to see if probably cause exists to support the now 5250.
A 5150 is not supposed to be used to hold a person who has been reported by anyone other than a qualified officer or clinician. But the 5150 does allow a police officer to detain a subject when the officer has observed some of the symptoms that would qualify them to request a 5150.
A 5150 can also be used to hold a person who is severely inebriated in the “drunk” tank. The person can be released when they are sober.
If your loved one is in need of addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.