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If they take him to the state hospital for detox, how long will he be there?

If he is taken there by the police they can keep him up to 72 hours. While he’s there he will be evaluated by a psychiatrist. If the psychiatrist does not think he needs to stay, he will be discharged. Usually they will keep him a minimum of 24 hours.

Will I get to talk to the doctors and counselors at the state hospital?

Yes. To make an accurate diagnosis, you information is very valuable.

Can I visit my partner if I want to?

Yes, if you are an immediate family member (wife, husband, child, or parent or are presently living with the patient) as long as there has not been a bail order barring contact or a protection order for no contact. Others may also be permitted to visit. You should call to make arrangements beforehand.

Am I expected to visit him even if I don't want to?

No. If you are being threatened or coerced by your partner, you are encouraged to talk to someone you trust before deciding whether or not you want to visit him.

Can they keep him there and make him go through treatment?

If the evaluation determines the need for treatment the hospital can and will file for court commitment. If the petition is filed, you will likely be contacted to provide information to the counselor. It would be very helpful if you testify during the commitment hearing but you will not be forced to do so. Once all of the information has been presented to the court, the judge will make the final decision as to whether or not he will be required to stay for in-patient treatment.

Can I commit my partner for treatment?

If you think your partner needs treatment you can make an appointment with the State’s Attorney, who will explain the procedure to you and determine whether or not a petition can be filed. Court commitment, against your partner’s wishes, is only possible if your partner is a danger to himself, others, or property due to addiction or mental illness.

How long will my partner have to be in treatment if that is necessary?

The length of stay for inpatient treatment at the North Dakota State Hospital varies, dependent upon the needs of the individual. This is generally from a brief period for detoxification to a couple of weeks. A person will remain in the hospital as long as he meets criteria for inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. After stabilization, most consumers are referred to outpatient services to continue treatment in a less restrictive environment.

Will I have to be involved in his treatment?

The hospital will encourage your involvement. The information you have will help in his treatment whether you have decided to stay with him or not. You have the right to refuse involvement if you wish. 

Will treatment for alcoholism or drug abuse make my partner stop hurting me?

Treatment for alcohol or drug abuse alone will not likely make him stop hurting you. Battering is not a universal characteristic of alcoholism or addiction. There are many people suffering from those diseases who do not assault people.

Violent behavior is a problem that must be dealt with separately. Your partner has a much better chance of stopping his violence if he admits that it is a problem for him and then participates in a batterer’s treatment program. Severe consequences for his behavior, such as being arrested, the possibility of losing his family, or being committed for alcohol or drug treatment will sometimes help him realize he has a problem. The staff at the State Hospital or other treatment centers can help your partner contact an agency that offers a batterer’s treatment program.