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Alcohol & Drug Emergency Commitment


An individual can be placed and detained in a licensed detoxification program without the individual’s consent for up to five days if an “Application for Emergency Commitment” is completed by a responsible person and approved by the detoxification program’s administrator or designee. The person completing the Application must be at least 18 years old, and had to actually observed the behavior of the individual they wish to commit to the detoxification program. This person becomes the Applicant and must state in the application that the person whose commitment is being sought is either intoxicated (under the influence) and clearly dangerous to self and/or others or is incapacitated and clearly dangerous to self and/or others. The Application must contain facts, statements, and information that support the alleged grounds for commitment. 

If the licensed detoxification’s program’s administrator or authorized designee determines that the grounds for commitment meet the necessary criteria for emergency commitment, the Application is signed, dated and the time documented on the Application. This documentation authorizes the emergency commitment period to begin. The individual is then committed, evaluated and treated but not longer than five days. The Emergency Commitment is NOT a “five-day hold” since the program has the discretion to discharge the client from the Emergency Commitment and the detox program with a referral to voluntary treatment if appropriate sooner than five days. 

If the program’s administrator or authorized designee determines that the grounds for commitment do not exist, the Application shall be denied. The individual whose commitment was being sought shall be encouraged by staff to seek voluntary treatment, if appropriate, and discharged from the program upon the individual’s request.

For further information regarding the Emergency Commitment process, please contact a licensed detoxification program in your area. A list of licensed detoxification programs can be obtained by accessing the Office of Behavioral Health’s Treatment Directory (select “Person Seeking Treatment”, then select “Substance Abuse” and finally, select “Detox”).




C.R.S. 27-81-111, 27-82-107


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