Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
Chapter 123 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 35, as appearing in the 1986 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 35. For the purposes of this section, "alcoholic" shall mean a person who chronically or habitually consumes alcoholic beverages to the extent that (1) such use substantially injures his health or substantially interferes with his social or economic functioning, or (2) he has lost the power of self-control over the use of such beverages.
For the purposes of this section, "substance abuser" shall mean a person who chronically or habitually consumes or ingests controlled substances to the extent that (1) such use substantially injuries his health or substantially interferes with his social or economic functioning, or (2) he has lost the power of self-control over the use of such controlled substances.
Any police officer, physician, spouse, blood relative, guardian or court official may petition in writing any district court for an order of commitment of a person whom he has reason to believe is an alcoholic or substance abuser. Upon receipt of a petition for an order of commitment of a person and any sworn statements the court may request from the petitioner, the court shall immediately schedule a hearing on the petition and shall cause a summons and a copy of the application to be served upon the person in the manner provided by section twenty-five of chapter two hundred and seventy-six. In the event of the person's failure to appear at the time summoned, the court may issue a warrant for the person's arrest. Upon presentation of such a petition, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that such person will not appear and that any further delay in the proceedings would present an immediate danger to the physical well-being of the respondent, said court may issue a warrant for the apprehension and appearance of such person before it. No arrest shall be made on such warrant unless the person may be presented immediately before a judge of the district court. The person shall have the right to be represented by legal counsel and may present independent expert or other testimony. If the court finds the person indigent, it shall immediately appoint counsel. The court shall order examination by a qualified physician.
If, after a hearing, the court based upon competent medical testimony finds that said person is an alcoholic or substance abuser and there is a likelihood of serious harm as a result of his alcoholism or substance abuse, it may order such person to be committed for a period not to exceed thirty days. Such commitment shall be for the purpose of inpatient care in public or private facilities approved by the department of public health under the provisions of chapter one hundred and eleven B for the care and treatment of alcoholism or substance abuse. The person may be committed to the Massachusetts correctional institution at Bridgewater, if a male, or at Framingham, if a female, provided that there are not suitable facilities available under chapter one hundred and eleven B; and provided, further, that the person so committed shall be housed and treated separately from convicted criminals. A person so committed may be released prior to the expiration of the period of commitment upon determination by the superintendent that release of said person will not result in a likelihood of serious harm. Said person shall be encouraged to consent to further treatment and shall be allowed voluntarily to remain in the facility for such purposes. The department of mental health, in conjunction with the department of public health, shall maintain a roster of public and private facilities available, together with the number of beds currently available, for the care and treatment of alcoholism or substance abuse and shall make it available to the district courts of the commonwealth on a monthly basis.
Nothing in this section shall preclude any public or private facility for the care and treatment of alcoholism or substance abuse, including the separated facilities at the Massachusetts correctional institutions at Bridgewater and Framingham, from treating persons on a voluntary basis.