Attorney’s Office

Substance Abuse Commitments

There are people in our community who suffer from substance related disorders, whether alcohol or methamphetamine or pills or other substances to numerous to mention requiring treatment. However, because of their substance related disorder(s), the individuals are unable or unwilling to seek treatment. Family members, friends, care givers and/or any interested individuals who have knowledge of the person’s actions may seek hospitalization for these individuals. Through the laws of the State of Iowa, the County Attorney’s Office may assist in the involuntary hospitalization, of who are suffering from a substance related disorder.

The following facts need to be proven in order to involuntarily hospitalize individuals who are seriously mentally impaired or who suffer from a serious mental illness:

  1. The individual must suffer from substance related disorder of sufficient duration (time) to meet the diagnostic criteria specified within the DSM V that results in functional impairment;
  2. And in Polk County, the individual lacks sufficient judgment to make responsible decisions with respect to his/her hospitalization or treatment; and meet any of the following facts:
    • The individual is likely to physically injure themselves or others if allowed to remain at liberty without treatment, demonstrated through recent overt acts or threats.
    • The individual is likely to endanger their health, if the person with the substance related disorder if allowed to remain at liberty without treatment.

If you have any questions you are welcome to contact our office at (515) 286-3341.

Contact Us

Polk County Attorney's Office
Polk County Justice Center
222 Fifth Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

Phone: (515) 286-3737
Fax: (515) 286-3428
Email: ctyatty@polkcountyiowa.gov