Houston, TX asked in Family Law for Texas

Q: How can I go about having my husband committed to a rehab facility for drug addiction/sucidal thoughts and depression.

We are legally seperated due to his addiction. Things began to go down after my 6 year old daughter was sexually abused my my husbands father. When this surfaced lots of other family members came forward with abuse and my husband too a victim. There is court cases for these and it’s made my husband be one very mentally unstable and he turned to drugs. He has now lost his job and went to jail. He is a person I don’t know and I feel is wanting help but doesn’t admit.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ruby K Bolton
Ruby K Bolton
  • The Woodlands, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: There are provisions in the Texas Health and Safety Code that allow a court to place someone in inpatient psychiatric care against their will. The psychiatric care will frequently include treatment for substance abuse. To commit someone involuntarily, an individual must execute an Application for Detention, which is supported by a sworn statement that the potential patient is likely to cause serious harm to self or others in the immediate future. I have never seen an individual be successful in obtaining a commitment without legal assistance. Sometimes the legal assistance is a privately hired attorney. Sometimes the legal assistance is provided by the State as a result of a 911 call, or a call from a medical facility.

The initial detention is only for 72 hours. To hold someone longer than that, the State is required to provide the patient with a lawyer, obtain a certificate from a licensed physician that the detention is medically necessary, and hold a hearing. Even if the Court finds at the hearing that patient will harm himself or others if not kept in a mental health facility, most patients are released in less than 60 days.

I know that when you are trying to help someone, all of these regulations are frustrating. However, the world has historically treated mentally ill people harshly. There is evidence that many people without mental illness were placed in psychiatric hospitals because their parents or spouse did not want to deal with them anymore, rather than in an attempt to help them. As a result, Texas is very careful not to lock anyone up based only on an allegation of mental illness. Even if a mental illness is proven, you cannot force treatment on a person unless the Court finds that that is the only way to prevent a severe physical injury to someone.

Commitments are extremely fact specific, meaning no one can give you an idea of how likely you are to be successful without sitting down to an indepth consultation with you.

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