Section 35 Helpline Information

The Massachusetts Bar Association has launched a free legal assistance program to help those who are seeking court-ordered inpatient treatment for a family member or friend struggling with opioid addiction. Learn more about how the MBA is joining the fight against the opioid epidemic with a legal assistance helpline.

The MBA program offers assistance with a state law, known as "Section 35" (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 123, Section 35), which permits individuals to petition the courts to involuntarily commit substance abusers to an inpatient treatment program when their alcohol or drug use puts themselves or others at risk. A substance abuser can be sent to a treatment program for up to 90 days if a judge determines, following a hearing and a review of medical evidence, that there is a "likelihood of serious harm" to themselves or others.

Section 35 flyer

*The "SECTION 35" HELPLINE is a project created by MBA Past President Robert W. Harnais to help friends and families who are struggling with a loved one's substance abuse. Callers will be referred to volunteer lawyers for assistance. Contact us at (844) 843-6221 or [email helpus].

©2017 Massachusetts Bar Association