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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 2, 2019 03:47 PM
From: Representative Harry Readshaw
To: All House members
Subject: Involuntary Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
As we continue to battle the opioid epidemic that is still claiming the lives of far too many Pennsylvanians, many friends and family members of those struggling with addiction are desperately seeking options to save their loved ones. Imagine having to watch your child, your brother, your spouse, your best friend grapple with this disease without treatment. Imagine fearing constantly you will lose that loved one if they do not receive medication and support. That was the reality of one of my constituents, who tragically lost his son Matthew and asked me to help provide families with options that were not available to him.
That is why I will soon be re-introducing legislation that would allow an individual to petition the court to order someone into treatment if the court determines the person is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, presents an imminent danger to themselves or others, and is likely to benefit from treatment. Please note that this would not simply be a rubber stamp to order all those dealing with addiction into treatment. The person who is the subject of the petition would first be examined by a physician and would have the right to an attorney at the civil hearing. My legislation would provide a way to help those individuals who refuse treatment or do not yet realize they need help, opening a new pathway to recovery.
Please join me in giving friends and families one more tool to secure treatment for their loved ones.
This legislation was most recently introduced as HB 384 of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. Previous co-sponsors were DEASY, PASHINSKI, DRISCOLL, CALTAGIRONE, WATSON, McNEILL, MILLARD, KINSEY, WARD, NEILSON, STAATS, BOBACK, KORTZ, D. COSTA, IRVIN, A. HARRIS, ZIMMERMAN, V. BROWN, DeLUCA, FARRY, THOMAS and HARPER

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Introduced as HB1920