Effective April 1, Washington’s Involuntary Treatment Act (ITA) will require hospitals to meet new requirements when presented with patients who pose a danger to self or others due to a substance use disorder. This new law, also known as “Ricky’s Law,” significantly expands ITA laws for adults and minors to now include substance use disorders.
Hospitals will be required to assess patients in crisis due to a substance use disorder and refer them to a designated crisis responder (formerly known as a “designated mental health professional”) for further evaluation. Also, under the new law, patients who meet involuntary detention criteria under the ITA must be treated at a state-certified, secure detoxification facility. See WSHA’s bulletin and webinar recording about the law for more information.