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Under M.G.L. c. 123, Section 35, a Massachusetts judge can order the forced treatment (i.e., commitment) of a person who has a severe substance-abuse problem which creates an imminent threat to the person’s safety or the safety of others.

This is commonly referred to as a “Section 35” commitment.

According to the statute an application for such commitment can be made by any of the following parties:

  1. a police officer
  2. a physician
  3. a spouse
  4. a blood relative
  5. a guardian, or
  6. a court official.

For more on Section 35 proceedings, see my post Commitment for Alcohol or Substance-Use Disorder: Section 35 Hearings