Current StatusView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
Bill Number: 2103 Ratification Number: 161 Act Number 116 Introducing Body: House Subject: Alcohol and drug abuse commitment, so as to define "chemically dependent person in need of emergency commitment"
(A116, R161, H2103)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 44-52-10, 44-52-20, 44-52-70, 44-52-110, 44-52-120, AND 44-52-130, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE COMMITMENT, SO AS TO DEFINE "CHEMICALLY DEPENDENT PERSON IN NEED OF EMERGENCY COMMITMENT" AND "CHEMICALLY DEPENDENT PERSON IN NEED OF INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT", TO PROVIDE THAT PERSONS WHO APPEAR TO BE AND BELIEVE THEMSELVES TO BE CHEMICALLY DEPENDENT MAY SEEK VOLUNTARY ADMISSION TO A TREATMENT FACILITY, TO PROVIDE THAT A PETITION FOR INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT MAY BE FILED IN THE COUNTY WHERE THE PERSON TO BE COMMITTED IS PRESENT, TO PROVIDE THAT THE COURT MAY ORDER INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT TO THE DIVISION OF ALCOHOL AND DRUG ADDICTION SERVICES OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH OR ANY OTHER LICENSED TREATMENT FACILITY, TO PROVIDE FOR A NOTICE OF INTENT TO DISCHARGE A PATIENT, AND TO PROVIDE FOR REVIEW OF OBJECTIONS TO DISCHARGE; AND TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTION 44-52-65 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR TRANSFER OF PATIENTS TO LESS RESTRICTIVE SETTINGS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Volunteer admission to alcohol and drug abuse treatment facilities
SECTION 1. Section 44-52-20 of the 1976 Code, added by Act 487 of 1986, is amended to read:
"Section 44-52-20. Any person who is sixteen years or older, appears to be and believes himself to be chemically dependent, may make written application for voluntary admission to a treatment facility. Application may be made on behalf of any person under sixteen years of age by the parent or legal guardian. Upon receipt of the application, the head of the treatment facility may receive the patient for observation and diagnosis. If evidence of chemical dependency is found, the patient may be given care and treatment at the facility. An individualized treatment plan must be developed for the person as soon as possible after admittance.
Any person voluntarily admitted to a treatment facility must be given notice of his rights under this chapter at the time of his admission. A voluntary patient must be informed that, upon a written request for release, the head of the treatment facility may initiate judicial proceedings for involuntary commitment."
Involuntary commitment--judicial proceedings
SECTION 2. The first paragraph of Section 44-52-70 of the 1976 Code, added by Act 487 of 1986, is amended to read:
"Judicial proceedings for the involuntary commitment of an individual may be initiated as follows: Any adult person or head of a treatment facility under Section 44-52-40 may file a petition with the court in the county where the person is present or where he is a resident or of the county where the person is hospitalized pursuant to Section 44-52-40, under penalty of perjury, alleging that the person is chemically dependent and in need of involuntary commitment."
Involuntary commitment to the Division or other treatment facility
SECTION 3. The third paragraph of Section 44-52-110 of the 1976 Code, added by Act 487 of 1986, is amended to read:
"If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the individual is a chemically dependent person in need of involuntary commitment, and, after careful consideration of reasonable alternative dispositions, including but not limited to, dismissal of the petition, voluntary outpatient care, voluntary admission to a treatment facility, finds that there is no suitable alternative to involuntary commitment, the court shall make an order of commitment to the Division for inpatient treatment. If the individual, his relatives, spouse, or guardian requests, and the head of the licensed treatment facility consents, the court may order commitment to any other licensed treatment facility for inpatient treatment. The court shall not order the commitment to the Division unless it determines that the Division has a bed available and is able to provide adequate and appropriate treatment for him, and the treatment is likely to be beneficial. Neither the State, any county nor any municipality is liable for any costs of or charged for sending an individual to a licensed private treatment facility."
Involuntary commitment, period of treatment, notice of intent to discharge
SECTION 4. Section 44-52-120 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 44-52-120. A court ordered involuntary commitment for a chemically dependent person may not exceed a treatment period of ninety days inpatient care. Court ordered treatment on an outpatient basis following inpatient treatment may not exceed a treatment period of one year.
If, after clinical review, the head of the treatment facility determines that the grounds for commitment no longer exist, or that further treatment is not likely to bring about significant improvement of the patient's condition, the head of the treatment facility shall file a notice of intent to discharge with the court, and serve a copy of the intent notice on those persons required to receive notice under Section 44-52-80. If no objection is received within five days of notification, the court shall issue an order of discharge. If a written objection is filed with the court, the court shall review the objection to determine whether a hearing must be conducted prior to issuing an order of discharge."
Definitions of chemically dependent person in need of emergency commitment
SECTION 5. Section 44-52-10(2) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(2) 'Chemically dependent person in need of emergency commitment' means a person who is suffering from chemical dependency and, as a result of this condition, poses a substantial risk of physical harm to himself or others if not immediately provided with emergency care and treatment."
Definition of chemically dependent person in need of involuntary commitment
SECTION 6. Section 44-52-10 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding at the end an appropriately numbered subsection to read:
"( ) 'Chemically dependent person in need of involuntary commitment' means a person who is suffering from chemical dependency as demonstrated by:
(a) recent overt acts or recent expressed acts of violence;
(b) episodes of recent serious physical problems related to the habitual and excessive use of drugs or alcohol, or both;
(c) incapacitation by drugs or alcohol, or both, on a habitual and excessive basis as evidenced by numerous appearances before the court within the preceding twelve months, repeated incidences involving law enforcement, multiple prior treatment episodes, or testimony by family or by members of the community known to the person relating to a lifestyle adversely affected by alcohol or drugs, or both."
Transfer to less restrictive setting
SECTION 7. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 44-52-65. If any any time during the period of emergency commitment as ordered by the court, the head of the treatment facility, with the responsible physician concurring, concludes that the patient is stabilized and no longer requires inpatient hospitalization, he may request that the court authorize transfer to a less restrictive setting pending the full court hearing conducted pursuant to Sections 44-52-80 through 44-52-110. Upon the consent of the court, the patient may be transferred to a community treatment program. The transfer must be conditioned upon the consent of the head of the receiving facility or program. Prior notice of transfer must be given to the patient and to those persons required to receive notice under Section 44-52-80."
Transfer of patients
SECTION 8. The first paragraph of Section 44-52-130 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"A patient at a treatment facility, including those committed under court order pursuant to Section 44-52-110, may be transferred to another facility providing care and treatment for chemically dependent persons when the head of the treatment facility determines that it is consistent with the medical and treatment needs or both of the patient. The transfer must be conditioned upon the consent of the treatment facilities concerned. Prior notice of the transfer must be given to the patient, to the court, and to those persons required to receive notice under Section 44-52-80."
SECTION 9. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.