Involuntary Civil Commitment for Substance Use Disorder: Legal Precedents and Ethical Considerations for Social Workers.

Social work in public health

PubMedID: 28617097

Walton MT, Hall MT. Involuntary Civil Commitment for Substance Use Disorder: Legal Precedents and Ethical Considerations for Social Workers. Soc Work Public Health. 2017;1-12.
Although each state in the United States legally authorizes involuntary civil commitment on the grounds of severe mental illness, a considerable number do not have comparable laws to mandate drug addiction treatment. This discrepancy is due, in part, to differing ethical positions regarding whether a substance use disorder diagnosis provides sufficient justification to suspend individual liberty rights. This article chronicles some of the legal and ethical thinking on the subject and applies them to a social work-specific context.