A California proposal from Governor Gavin Newsom would reportedly force those who are homeless and addicted and those suffering from mental illnesses into treatment. If these individuals don’t comply with the mandated treatment, they could be placed into conservatorships, a form of court-appointed guardianship that strips people of their rights to make basic decisions about their lives and care. Civil rights groups have raised alarms at Governor Gavin Newsom’s plans, calling his recommended measures “draconian.”
This proposal raises the long-debated issue as to whether or not addicts should be forced into treatment. Maia Szalavitz, a former cocaine and heroin addict, weighed in on this subject in an op-ed published in the New York Times. She is also the author or co-author of seven books and was a Soros Justice Fellow in 2015. Her main point was that we should be attracting people to addiction treatment, not forcing them into it. She notes that “the most effective addiction therapies are kind, welcoming and supportive, not harsh and confrontational.” To read her article, CLICK HERE.