Massachusetts hospitals question plan to involuntarily commit opioid addicts

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) will file legislation this week to address opioid addiction, including a provision that allows doctors to hold addicts involuntarily for up to three days, but many Bay State hospitals worry the provision is not a meaningful solution to the problem, according to the Sentinel and Enterprise. Holding patients, or civil commitment, fails to address the pressing need for treatment services on a voluntary basis, providers say, and would exacerbate overcrowding. "Instead of getting to the point where these patients need to be civilly committed, let's make sure the system is integrated enough that they don't have to be committed," Pail MacKinnon, chief operating officer of UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster, told the publication. "The reason some of these patients come in (to the emergency department) is because there's nothing out in the community to help them." Moreover, hospital leaders say, fear of being held against their will may frighten addicted patients away from seeking treatment. Article


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