All states have laws that allow some form of court-ordered treatment, typically in a hospital for people considered a danger to themselves or others. Connecticut is among a handful with no option for court-ordered treatment in a less restrictive community setting, said Kristina Ragosta, an attorney with the Treatment Advocacy Center, a national group that advocates better access to mental health treatment.
Lanza's medical records haven't been publicly disclosed and authorities haven't said if it is known what type of treatment his family may have sought for him. Lanza killed himself at the school.
Jennifer Hoff of Mission Viejo, Calif. has a 19-year-old bipolar son who has had hallucinations, delusions and violent behavior for years. When he was younger and threatened to harm himself, she'd call 911 and leave the door unlocked for paramedics, who'd take him to a hospital for inpatient mental care.
Now that he's an adult, she said he has refused medication, left home, and authorities have indicated he can't be forced into treatment unless he harms himself — or commits a violent crime and is imprisoned. Hoff thinks prison is where he's headed — he's in jail, charged in an unarmed bank robbery.
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: http://www.aacap.org
AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/LindseyTanner
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