Heroin Addicts (Willingly) Trade Freedom for Treatment

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A sign urging families to consider civil commitment, at the Greenfield courthouse.

Massachusetts is one of 38 states where someone who abuses drugs or alcohol to an extreme can be legally committed to a locked treatment facility. In most cases, a worried family member has to go to court to make that happen.

But one recent trend that has surprised even court officials is how many addicts are appealing directly to a judge — willing to give up their civil rights in exchange for some help.

Aired on New England Public Radio October 19, 2016.

National version aired on NPR’s All Things Considered November 15, 2016

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