Involuntary treatment petitions could see new requirements
By Travis Berg
The Department of Social Services is helping families secure drug and alcohol treatment for their reluctant kin. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed a bill easing the process. Currently, a petition for involuntary treatment requires approval from a physician and a certified counselor. The proposal allows petitioners to gain approval from either entity. D-S-S Deputy Secretary Lynne Valenti says the initiative helps families seek treatment when they don't have all the resources.
"We believe this requirement is unnecessarily duplicative, and it's burdensome to families who typically bear the costs of these examinations and treatment for these services. More over, especially in the rural communities it's sometimes very difficult to obtain these two examinations within two days of filing the petition," Valenti says.
Senate Bill 14 also allows for a court order to transport reluctant patients by law enforcement. The bill next goes to the Senate Floor for further debate.
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