San Francisco forced drug treatment, supervisors struck a deal Monday.

San Francisco supervisors struck a deal Monday to support a controversial law that would expand the city’s ability to force seriously mentally ill people into care — but the plan will likely help only about five people.

The Red Tea Detox

The Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the legislation on Tuesday, following months of debate over how the city should deal with severely mentally ill people on the streets. The supervisors battled for months over the proposal. But even the legislation’s most ardent supporters say it isn’t the answer to the city’s broken behavioral health care system.

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The proposal expands the definition of who is eligible for conservatorship, which is court-ordered mental health treatment. If it passes, the city can impose in-patient treatment on someone if they are severely mentally ill, addicted to drugs and have been taken to an emergency crisis unit — known as a 5150 hold — at least eight times in a year.

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While the city’s Department of Public Health estimates the expanded law would help only about five people, the board was fractured over whether the city’s already clogged mental health care system could adequately help more patients.

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