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Mass. Lawmakers Review Closure Of Drug Abuse Center

This article is more than 10 years old.

Brockton District Court has one of the highest number of cases involving mental health in Massachusetts. That includes cases where someone asks a judge to involuntarily commit a loved one for substance abuse treatment. It’s called having someone “sectioned” or “sectioned 35″ — named after the state law that allows civil commitments for those who won’t get treatment on their own.

It happens as often as eight times a day in Brockton, when the judge must ask a state psychologist for an emergency recommendation.

One option for judges is to send a person into treatment for 30 days. For the men and women not considered too dangerous to themselves or others, the court can send them to a Department of Public Health facility or to private treatment.

But for men whose loved ones ask the court to civilly commit them in a secure facility, there is only one place to go: the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center, or MASAC, in Bridgewater.

This program aired on September 30, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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