Should States Let Families Force Addicts Into Rehab

Addiction is a heartbreaking condition for parents and spouses: they watch, often helplessly as their loved one self-destructs, hurting those who care about them most.


In some states, family members have the option to legally force addicts into rehab, a mandate that is now being pushed in other states that currently don’t allow it. But the question is, does involuntary treatment help an addict who isn’t ready, or does it merely cause more harm?

In a New York Times column this week, a doctor introduced the problem through the case of J., a construction worker who suffered from both genuine pain and serious addiction to painkillers. J.’s wife had brought him in for a medical exam. But while J. voluntarily acknowledged his addiction — along with the lost work days, mounting debt, marital strain and declining health — he refused treatment, leaving his wife begging the physician to take further action.  Read More…

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