Franklin, TN asked in Family Law, Civil Rights and Health Care Law for Tennessee

Q: What are the requirements for having an alcoholic/ mentally ill adult child committed for treatment against their will?

Our daughter is 26 and has been in 3 rehabs and been medically detoxed more times than we can count. She also suffers fro anxiety, depression and PTSD. Upon release from her latest rehab last week, she began to drink again, and in less than 2 weeks time, was placed in 2 72 hour involutary psych. holds by different hospitals. She then left home and was involved in a DUI accident in GA and is now in jail. We do not want her to bail her out unless we can put her somewhere for treatment that she cannot leave. Is this possible in Tennessee?

1 Lawyer Answer
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Columbia, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: The involuntary commitment procedure is the only option, and it sounds like you have already tried this. The other hospitals may be releasing her because of financial issues. A doctor has to give his professional opinion that she is dangerous to herself or others, and while no one would ever admit this, people who don't have good health insurance will get released because there's no one to pay for the care. Our court system goes to great pains to make sure no one is deprived of their freedom without due process, and therefore, unless you are severely mentally ill, you can engage is self-destructive behavior. Regrettably, jail may be the only place to keep her from this at this stage. Hope this helps.

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