How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Samuel II Your Own Question
Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  General practice of law with emphasis in family law.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Samuel II is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My husband has been drinkig while. He has drinking problem

Customer Question

My husband has been drinkig for a while. He has drinking problem but he is denial, he thinks all counselors, psichologists are a joke. His drinking caused license suspension for 3 times already. He does drink something everyday nips,pints. We have 5 year old son and this affects me and him a lot. All our family is under the seas so i do not have much support from them. I am not working. I can not trust my husband i can not leave my son with him and go anythere, because the last time i was gone for couple hours he told me that daddy was in the car and he was crying.. I came home and of course my husband was boozed.. Do i have any options? Forced rehab is there is such a thing? Where i can ask for help because he can not control his drinking anymore!
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.


This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard.

I am sorry to hear of this situation for you. Can you tell me what state and I will research to see what is available for you. Thanks

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

You can respond here and then we can continue. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Let me check on somethings. Thanks.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Ok. Massachusetts does have an involuntary process for alcoholism.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Under the Law which you can read at this LINK provides:

Any police officer, physician, spouse, blood relative, guardian or court official may petition in writing any district court or any division of the juvenile court department for an order of commitment of a person whom he has reason to believe is an alcoholic or substance abuser.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Here are the next steps in order:

  1. The court reviews the facts and decides whether or not to issue an order of commitment
  2. If yes, then the person who is the subject of the petition must come to court that day. The court issues them either a summons or a warrant of apprehension.
    Summons - a written notice delivered to the person
    Warrant - allows police to pick the person up. A warrant can be issued only during court hours. Police will pick a person up only if the court is open.
  3. If a warrant is issued and the person is picked up, they will be handcuffed, taken to court, and put in a holding cell to wait for a hearing.
    - The person has the right to a lawyer and to present their own experts.
    - The court will arrange for a (forensic) psychiatrist or psychologist to examine them
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

The court will review medical facts (evidence) from the exam and other evidence that relates to the case.

The court can order commitment only if:

  1. There is a medical diagnosis of alcoholism or substance abuse, AND
  2. A likelihood of serious harm to the subject or others as a result of the substance abuse exists.
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

I suggest if you go to the clerk of the court they should be able to provide you with the Petition form packet you need to file. And that because of the situation you state with your child that you can fulfill the Serious Harm requirement.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

To meet the criteria for civil commitment, “likelihood of serious harm” must exceed what harm can be reasonably assumed to exist, when any individual abuses alcohol or other drugs. The statute defines “likelihood of serious harm” as the following:

  1. a substantial risk of physical harm to the person as manifested by evidence of, threats of, or attempts at, suicide or serious bodily harm; or
  2. a substantial risk of physical harm to other persons as manifested by evidence of homocidal or other violent behavior or evidence that others are placed in reasonable fear of violent behavior and serious physical harm to them; or
  3. a very substantial risk of physical impairment or injury to the person himself as manifested by evidence that such person’s judgment is so effected that he is unable to protect himself in the community and that reasonable provision for his protection is not available in the community.

The "likelihood of serious harm" must be directly related to the substance abuse and must be a current threat

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

The judge orders him to a licensed inpatient substance abuse treatment facility such as the Men's Addiction Treatment Center (MATC) in Brockton or another community treatment center. If a bed is not available the commitment could be to the Massachusetts Alcohol Substance Abuse Center (MSAC) treatment facility in MCI Bridgewater

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have other questions in this regard, you can post them here. If I sign off for the night, I will respond in the morning.