Mental Health

201 N. Perry Parkway, P.O. Box 1801
Perry, GA 31069

Phone: (478) 218-4710
Fax: (478) 218-4715

Involuntary Treatment

Under certain circumstances, as ordered by a judge of Probate Court or Superior Court, Georgia law authorizes involuntary treatment of persons proved to be suffering from mental illness or drug or alcohol addiction.

In crisis situations, and sometimes in certain other instances, the law allows the judge to order a person to be apprehended by the Sheriff or his deputy on the basis of a Two-Party Affidavit and delivered to a hospital for evaluation by a doctor or other appropriate medical personnel to determine whether in his or her opinion involuntary treatment is necessary or advisable. The Sheriff's Office or the judge may also take such action on the basis of a Doctor Certificate. In addition, if a police officer observes a crime being committed by a person whom the officer reasonably believes is mentally ill and in need of treatment, the officer has the discretion to take such person to be evaluated instead of arresting him or her.

Patients and persons who are Proposed Patients (people who are the subject of involuntary treatment proceedings) have certain rights in connection with the legal procedures and with the treatment itself. These rights are specified by statute. Many other due process protections are built into involuntary treatment proceedings as well.

A word of caution: the Georgia statutes governing involuntary treatment proceedings are complex and sometimes confusing. As a result, the local application of these statutes varies from county to county. Patients, lawyers, family members and friends of persons who may potentially be subject to involuntary treatment proceedings are encouraged to inquire locally about standard practice in that area.

You should also be aware that as a practical matter, involuntary treatment for drug or alcohol dependent persons may not generally be available except as necessary to allow detoxification of persons who do not want to be there voluntarily. Often a good alternative is to seek other, less formal means of intervention, available through various social service agencies.

To assist you in obtaining a more in-depth overview of how this body of law works, we offer an outline of Important Code SectionsInvoluntary Treatment Standards for Inpatient Treatment and Outpatient Treatment and Involuntary Treatment Proceedings. As well as, Frequently Asked Questions.

For further information, email Kim Willson at [email protected]

Crisis Hotlines

  • Georgia Crisis & Access Line - 1-800-715-4225
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-7233
  • The Crisis Text Line - Text START to 741-741 about any type of crisis 24/7.

Houston County Department of Public Health Services:

  • Gail Goodwin and Daniela Torres offer free or low-cost Medication Management and Psychiatry with the Mental Wellness Team at the Houston County Department of Public Health. Call 478-218-2000, press 3, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM to schedule an in-person appointment.
  • Free or low-cost Therapy/Counseling services are provided by an Intern from Mercer University at the Houston County Department of Public Health. Call 478-218-2000, press 3, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM to schedule an in-person, virtual, or phone call appointment.
  • The Social Worker at Houston County Department of Public Health offers assistance with finding local resources, providing harm reduction tools, addressing personal problems, and integrating into the community post-justice involvement for free. Call or text 478-663-9366 to schedule an in-person, virtual, or phone call meeting.

Georgia Addiction Resources

  • Alcoholics Anonymous in Georgia - Resource for finding in-person and virtual AA meetings throughout the state.
  • Recovery in Georgia - Locally run independent addiction recovery resource that features treatment centers, support meetings, and prevention resources located throughout Georgia.
  • The GARR Network - Georgia-based association of accredited sober living homes throughout the state.
  • The Summit Wellness Group - Highly-rated Georgia-based addiction and mental health provider with an extensive assortment of online recovery resources.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse - Helpful resource for finding treatment centers for friends or family members that are struggling with substance abuse.

Overdose Prevention

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