Is Chronic alcoholism and drug addiction the same when considering an LPS conservatorship? The answer is “sometimes”.
Conservatorship is very much similar to legal guardianship except that in the case of a guardianship one is responsible for the food, health care, housing, and other necessities of a person and a conservator is these things but also possesses control over the assets and finances of their charge. The Lanterman, Petris, and Short (LPS) conservatorship was designed to assist in acquiring short term care in a hospital or other facility for a person with serious impairment by drug use or alcoholism and those with mental disorders or is in need of long-term care, like placement in a nursing home facility, and are unable or unwilling to receive. Often these are individuals who are unable to provide for themselves due to their illness or addiction. Only the police, an authorized mental health professional, or physician can initiate an LPS conservatorship. Most commonly, the conservator is a relative, close friend, or Department of Social Services councilor. An example in recent new was when Brittany Spears’s father was declared her conservator after a rash of unusual behavior attributed to drug use, resulting in her hospitalization. A conservator must only make judgment calls that are beneficial to their ward and must also enough medical and social information to make an educated decision based on before making decisions for the conservatee. An LPS conservator becomes responsible for making the financial decisions of their conservatee like collecting income and paying personal bills in their wards name. The LPS conservator ship is designed for adults with mental illnesses listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). If the conservatee possess brain trauma, organic brain disorders, retardation, alcohol or drug addiction, or dementia they are disabled from this specific conservatorship, unless they also have one of the serious brain disorders listed in the DSM.
In short, if you have an alcoholic or drug addict who has developed, or substance abuse has worsened, a mental illness along the lines of schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, manic depression, schizo-affective disorder, clinical depression, or obsessive compulsive disorder you are entitled to an LPS conservatorship. However, if your conservatee is just an addict standard rehab or conservatorship is your best option.