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Written by COBRE Affiliated scientists Elizabeth Samuels, MD, MPH, MHS, Otis Warren, MD, Corey Davis, JD, MSPH and Paul Christopher, MD.

The opioid overdose crisis has claimed more than 400,000 lives in the United States since 1999. As part of efforts to reduce overdose deaths and increase enrollment in treatment, law-makers in some states are contemplating enacting or expanding emergency hold laws that permit some patients with severe substance use disorder to be involuntarily detained for short-term observation and, in some cases, treatment.