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What States Can You Force Someone Into Rehab? A Comprehensive Guide

by Landmark Recovery

May 26, 2020
treatment map

Updated: July 21, 2023, at 3:20 p.m.

States with Involuntary Commitment Laws

Currently,  35 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have laws authorizing involuntary rehab, according to the Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System (PDAPs). If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, these states allow mandatory treatment when voluntary commitment seems out of reach.

Dealing with substance use disorder (SUD) can be overwhelming. At Landmark Recovery, we understand that. This guide offers a helping hand, providing a state-by-state breakdown of these laws. We aim to offer transparency in your time of need, cutting through the legal jargon to provide easy-to-understand and act-upon information.

treatment map

Source: PDAPS – Involuntary Commitment for Substance Use

NOTE: Some information may contradict the information on the map, as laws are fluid. You should contact your local court or healthcare provider if you are unsure whether you can apply to have your loved one admitted to rehab involuntarily. Call 888-448-0302 to speak to a Landmark Recovery Patient Navigator if you need immediate recovery assistance.

States with and Without Mandatory Addiction Treatment Laws

State Involuntary Commitment for Substance Abuse
Alaska Yes
Arkansas Yes
California Yes
Colorado Yes
Connecticut Yes
Delaware Yes
District of Columbia Yes
Florida Yes
Georgia Yes
Hawaii Yes
Indiana Yes
Iowa Yes
Kansas Yes
Kentucky Yes
Louisiana Yes
Maine Yes
Massachusetts Yes
Michigan Yes
Minnesota Yes
Mississippi Yes
Missouri Yes
Nebraska Yes
North Carolina Yes
North Dakota Yes
Ohio Yes
Oklahoma Yes
Pennsylvania Yes
South Carolina Yes
South Dakota Yes
Tennessee Yes
Texas Yes
Vermont Yes
Virginia Yes
Washington Yes
West Virginia Yes
Wisconsin Yes
Wyoming Yes
Alabama No
Arizona No
Idaho No
Illinois No
Maryland No
Montana No
Nevada No
New Hampshire No
New Jersey No
New Mexico No
New York No
Oregon No
Rhode Island No
Utah No

We’ll give you a nationwide breakdown now by answering a simple question for each state: are there laws for the compulsory treatment of substance use disorder?


Drugs and alcohol are excluded from the definition of mental illness in Alabama. There’s no way to force someone to enter rehab in Yellowhammer State.


If a person is deemed a danger to themselves and others, they can be committed to court-ordered treatment in Alaska.


Mandatory addiction treatment in Arizona requires a written application from a friend, relative, peace officer, or police officer. This is submitted to an evaluation agency for mental illness.


Legislation in Arkansas excludes alcoholism and substance abuse from involuntary commitment.


Under California Welfare & Institutions Code §5343, family members, legal guardians, and doctors can apply to have a loved one forced into treatment if they suffer from substance use disorder and pose a danger to themselves and others. This involuntary rehab law sets California apart.


Individuals who have harmed others or intend to harm others due to alcohol or substance abuse can be involuntarily committed for treatment in Colorado. They can also be committed if they are incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol.


Individuals who present as a danger to themselves or others can be involuntarily committed for treatment for alcohol or drug abuse. Applications are made to the probate court.


Anyone can petition to have someone committed to a treatment center in the state of Delaware. They must provide details of the circumstances and their observations.


The Baker Act, or Florida Substance Abuse Impairment Act, allows a friend, relative, or acquaintance to apply to the county court to have someone committed to a treatment center. This application can be filed independently, through a lawyer, or an intervention counselor. Florida also has the Marchman Act (the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993). This can sometimes be used to force someone impaired by substance use disorder into treatment.


Georgians presenting a danger to themselves or others can be pushed toward rehab. They must agree to involuntary outpatient treatment. If they don’t, they will be admitted as an inpatient instead.


Family members can apply for involuntary treatment if the person in question poses a danger to themselves and their actions are affecting the family. Treatment must be paid for so this is not a workable option for everyone.


There’s no specific mention of substance or alcohol use disorder when it comes to involuntary commitment for mental health issues in Idaho.


Legislation in Illinois excludes substance use disorder from involuntary commitment.


Involuntarily commitment for treatment is possible providing the person hasn’t been charged for an offense. This will render them ineligible for treatment.


Anyone in Iowa can apply to the court to have someone committed to treatment if they are substance abuse-impaired and present a danger to themselves or others.


A person can apply to have a loved one involuntarily committed for treatment if they are incapacitated and could cause harm to others.


Casey’s Law, named for Matthew Casey Wethington, was passed in 2004. A family member or friend can petition the court for involuntary treatment. A physician’s assessment is required. Once enacted, residential rehab is scheduled. The person faces jail time if they don’t attend as this would be considered contempt of court.


LA Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28:52.4 enables a parent, spouse, legal guardian, or child aged 18 for older of a person suffering from “a substance-related or addictive disorder” to apply for the person to be involuntarily admitted to a hospital or treatment facility. This is a unique approach to involuntary commitment for drug abuse. You can learn more about Louisiana’s specific provisions here


If a person is substance abuse-impaired, they can be committed involuntarily for treatment in the state of Maine.


There’s no legislation in place to facilitate involuntary treatment in Maryland.


If someone living in Massachusetts is considered a danger to themselves or others, involuntary treatment is an option.


Michiganders posing a danger to themselves or others can benefit from mandatory treatment.


Minnesota is another state where someone with substance use disorder can be involuntarily treated  if they cause harm to themselves or others.


In Mississippi, it costs $150 to have someone committed for treatment against their will. Once approved, the judge can order treatment for anywhere from 30 to 90 days.


It’s possible to have someone involuntarily committed to rehab in Missouri.


Involuntary treatment is not an option.


Nebraskans considered a danger to themselves or loved ones can be ordered into treatment.


In Nevada, anyone presenting a danger to themselves or others as a result of SUD can be sent to rehab against their will.

New Hampshire

Substance use disorder and alcohol use disorder are excluded from forcible treatment laws in New Hampshire.

New Jersey

It’s not possible to initiate court-ordered treatment for alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder in New Jersey.

New Mexico

New Mexico is another state that excludes substance use disorder and alcohol use disorder from involuntary treatment legislation.

New York

New York has Kendra’s Law in place for involuntary treatment. Unfortunately, this doesn’t cover substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder.

North Carolina

North Carolina residents who a danger to themselves and others as a result of AUD or SUD can be committed to a treatment center for involuntary rehab.

North Dakota

In North Dakota, the same law applies as long as the person presents a danger to themselves or others.


Casey’s Law allows a person to petition the court to have a loved one admitted for involuntary drug treatment. They must show that the person in question is a danger to themselves or others. There should be evidence that they would benefit from treatment.


Oklahomans who have become a danger to themselves or others as a result of drink or drug abuse can be forced into court-ordered rehab.


People with substance use disorder are excluded from involuntary commitment in the state of Oregon.


Involuntary treatment is not an option.

Rhode Island

Involuntary treatment can be ordered for alcoholism but not substance use disorder.

South Carolina

You can apply to have someone committed with an affidavit if they are likely to cause harm to themselves or others.


In Tennessee, state legislation allows for anyone causing harm to themselves or others to be committed to involuntary treatment.


Texans liable to harm themselves or their loved ones through drink or drug abuse can be ordered into treatment by the court.


Involuntary treatment is not an option in Utah.


Accompanied by a written recommendation from a physician, involuntary rehab is possible in Vermont.


In Virginia, there are laws for involuntary treatment of anyone suffering from AUD or SUD as long as they pose a danger to themselves or others.


Ricky’s Law, officially known as the Involuntary Treatment Act (ITA), is a law that allows for involuntary commitment for substance use disorders. This law is designed to protect individuals who are at risk of serious harm due to substance use. The law recognizes substance use disorders as a form of mental illness and provides the legal basis for involuntary treatment.

West Virginia

Although West Virginia has the highest rate of deaths by drug overdose, there’s inadequate access to addiction treatment facilities.


In Wisconsin, someone likely to harm themselves or others can be ordered into treatment.


In Wyoming, involuntary treatment is possible as long as the individual has not be charged with a criminal offense.

What to Do Next

If you’re concerned about a loved one suffering from alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder, you could arrange for involuntary addiction treatment depending on where you live. For anyone in doubt about what to do next, get in touch with our friendly team of experts here at Landmark Recovery. We’ll be happy to help in any way we can; call us today at 888-448-0302.

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About the Author

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery was founded with a determination to make addiction treatment accessible for all. Through our integrated treatment programs, we've helped thousands of people choose recovery over addiction and get back to life on their own terms. We're on a mission to save one million lives over the next century. We encourage all those struggling with substance use to seek professional help.