Involuntary addiction treatment has been around for 50 years. But those forced to use Section 35 say the system is broken.
Dr. David Munson, the medical director for respite programs at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and a member of the Section 35 commission, said post-treatment care is critical for keeping people alive after they’re sectioned. Tolerance for opioids decreases while a user is recovering and not actively using, Munson said, creating a higher risk for overdose if a person uses again after treatment.
“We’ve had story after story of folks who had been put on a commuter rail train from Bridgewater and show up at South Station after a section. So that doesn’t do anybody any good,” Munson said. “And their risk of, especially the folks that are there for opioids, the risk of overdose death is pretty high. The state hasn’t released that data, but the risk of overdose death after a section would be akin to overdose death after release from incarceration, which we know is really high.”