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Outpatient commitment, sometimes referred to as assisted outpatient treatment, is a form of involuntary treatment whereby a court orders a person to undergo community-based treatment for a mental health disorder (and less frequently, substance abuse) that typically includes administration of psychotropic drugs and a variety of relatively intensive services and monitoring. Outpatient commitment was designed as a mechanism that would reach the so-called revolving-door population of persons with serious and chronic mental health disorders who lack insight into their disorder and have repeated emergency hospitalizations, are medication noncompliant, and are at risk of becoming dangerous to themselves or others, or of becoming homeless or incarcerated. More than 40 states and the District of Columbia allow for outpatient commitment, although its use is not widespread for ...

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