Rationale For Sectioning
The circumstances required for someone to be sectioned under the UK Mental Health Act (1983/2007) are:
Suffering from alcohol use disorder alone is not a reason to be sectioned, however, alcoholism combined with mental health disorders can be a reason to be sectioned in the UK.
Who Wants The Alcoholic Sectioned?
Reasons for a family member to attempt sectioning of the alcoholic include:
Trying to force an alcoholic into treatment through sectioning is not legal and not effective, as typically the alcoholic will not respond to treatment.
Where Can An Alcoholic Be Sectioned?
An alcoholic can be sectioned in a hospital, psychiatric unit or mental health facility, dependent on personal need.
Different settings do not affect the criteria for being sectioned.
Petitioning To Section For Alcoholism Alone
In 2022, the UK government was unsuccessfully petitioned to enable sectioning for alcoholism alone by family members, carers or friends .
Primary vs Secondary Sectioning & Alcoholism
Typical primary reasons as to why someone is sectioned are severe symptoms of:
Someone who has been sectioned may also be abusing alcohol secondarily, but alcohol is not the primary reason for being sectioned.
Primary Sectioning Behaviours Which May Be Indirectly Caused By Alcoholism
Whilst alcoholism alone does not fulfil the requirements to be sectioned, symptoms and mental health conditions caused by, or exacerbated by alcoholism may require sectioning.
Primary Reasons For Sectioning
How Alcoholism Contributes
Long-term GABA depletion, frequently alongside pre-existing anxiety
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Alcohol reinforces pre-PTSD conditions 
Caused by alcohol-induced liver failure or cirrhosis
Caused by alcohol-induced amygdala hyperactivity
Secondary Sectioning Via Korsakoffs, Wernicke's, ARBD
Wernicke's encephalopathy is not likely to cause symptoms severe enough to qualify for sectioning.
A loss of inhibitions, memory loss and mood swings occur in alcohol-related brain damage and alcoholic dementia and can result in an individual being sectioned.
Questions Asked During Sectioning vs. Appropriate Care In An Alcohol Clinic
Questions asked during sectioning may include:
The questions asked prior to sectioning imply reduced or removed capacity; whereas recovery fosters independent thinking and structured living.
In alcohol rehab facilities, patients have greater independence, and questions surrounding mental health are usually only asked to ensure safety and that it is the appropriate care facility.
Rehab clinics may ask some capacity and dependence questions during the admission process, but this is for the purpose of ensuring the clinic is able to meet the client's needs and that a particular clinic is the appropriate form of treatment for the client.
Can You Put Someone In Rehab Against Their Will?
No, putting someone in rehab against their will is not legal.
Admission into rehab is voluntary, and individuals coerced into rehab will either:
Through our practical knowledge at Abbeycare, to see any real long-term improvement, the individual needs to: