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Life After Section 35

family visit @ facility

AiR member soccermom04 wrote in after "sectioning" her son:

“I had to recently Section 35 my son for the 2nd time since February. The first Rehab, Brockton Men's Recovery didn't go well at all and seem to do nothing for him. This time he has been committed to Bridgewater rehab.

Does anyone have experience with this facility? Was the care good? How long did they keep your loved one? Did your loved one find the program helpful?”

Here is some general information about the civil commitment process in Massachusetts, including length of stay:

A new program opened for men that isn’t tied to the Bridgewater jail. I am assuming your son went there. I suggest you also sign up for Learn2Cope’s chat line to see if others have had experience with it.

If you have questions that are not being answered, contact Brian Sylvester at the Bureau of Substance Abuse services:

Brian Sylvester, Southeast Regional Manager, Substance Abuse Services (508)-984-0620  Email:

The key question with any inpatient stay for someone struggling with substance abuse is what happens next. Aftercare can involve wraparound services in the community or it can be a structured living environment, such as a sober home. 

In our experience, aftercare planning is part of the section 35 experience. We have seen individuals being supported to step down to sober living and doing very well. Others ignore what is being suggested, run home and lock the door. Whether your Loved One is civilly committed or has voluntarily agreed to inpatient treatment, continued treatment and self-help are critical for improving the odds.

Consider aftercare as another “opportunity” to use what is taught on this site. You’ll want to support every effort to continue the treatment process. You may need to intervene again to get your Loved one to agree to the next step and the next step.

Thank you for writing in. Let us know what you learn and about your son’s experience.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)

  1. I have been extremely concerned about aftercare and how it is supported or followed up.
    My son recently got out of Spectrum and went to a sober house. However knowing he does not have a job and has to report to sherriff’s office 2 or 3 times a week, probation and go to another program (I don’t see how he is going to be able to get a job within a reasonable amount of time due to all of these conditions). But yet they allowed him to go on to sober house. Yes I did pay the month for him to be there because it was a better choice than him moving back home with me or going to a shelter. (he is 30) He has almost 3 months clean. PRAISE GOD! My question or thought is why wouldn’t Spectrum keep him there until he was able to be self supportive or get other support system. I am a widow and am unable to afford this monthly cost. However, I couldn’t see him in a shelter being so vulnerable just leaving spectrum where he was doing very well.
    I think this is where there is a big glitch in the system but I don’t know what I can do to help.
    Thanks for letting me vent.

    Open to suggestions.