Within the United States, a law is specifically for helping individuals with Addiction Use Disorder (AUD). It is known as Casey’s Law. This law was created after Casey Wethington’s death from a heroin overdose in 2002. The law started in Kentucky in 2004 and has now expanded to Ohio. Wethington’s parents have been pushing for the law to be taken up in more states like Georgia. It is vital to get loved one’s help with their addiction before it is too late. How does Casey’s Law affect addiction treatment? With this law, a family can be more involved in avoiding the tragic outcomes of using drugs or alcohol.
If you are currently seeking help to recover from addiction, it not too late to start. Call us at (706) 480-8733 today. We want to help you beat your addiction and see your life change healthily. Drug use does not need to be apart of the rest of your life. By entering treatment, you can achieve sobriety and enjoy life to the fullest once more.
The Origin of Casey’s Law
If you’re not familiar with it, you might be wondering, “What is Casey’s Law?” Casey Wethington was 23 years old when he died of a heroin overdose in 2002. His family wanted him to seek treatment, but there was no way to make him go against his will. He did not want to get help and, unfortunately, died from his disease. As of right now, state legislation across the nation does not force family intervention in helping with addiction. Everywhere across the country, individuals like Casey are fighting addiction but do not want help. Their family wants to help them, but the lack of laws and other limitations prevents them from doing so.
There is no law requiring an individual to seek treatment if they do not want to. That is why Casey’s parents created Casey’s Law. It is regarded as an involuntary treatment act because it allows family members to intervene in an individual’s addiction. Someone who cannot recognize or accept they need treatment can be taken to rehabilitation by their family because of this law.
Every effort to intervene on his disease was stymied because he was over the age of 18 and was not in the criminal justice system,” Charlotte Wethington, Casey’s mother famously said in an interview. “I was told that “he has to want to lose enough and hit bottom”. That is contrary to the best practices for the treatment of any other chronic, progressive, and potentially fatal disease. With other diseases, we know that the sooner the disease is recognized, the longer it’s treated, the better the chances for recovery.
It is also essential to know what states utilize Casey’s Law. As of now, Casey’s Law is only in effect in Kentucky and Ohio. Casey’s mother, Charlotte Wethington, has been touring the nation attempting to get the law accepted everywhere. On the website for Casey’s Law, an individual can learn how to get it started in their home state. A family should not have to force a loved one into treatment, but sometimes it is necessary to save their life.
How is Casey’s Law Used?
Involuntary treatment is often just as effective as a voluntary treatment, which is why Casey’s Law tries to get the family involved. In many cases, the individual abusing substances do not think they need help. Their denial can lead to death if not addressed. The website for Casey’s Law believes that involuntary treatment is important for those denying they have a problem. They went as far as making a detailed order for how a family can initiate the involuntary treatment process.
- The family must obtain form 700A from the local District Clerk’s office. This form is the official petition for the Involuntary Treatment of Alcohol/Drug Abuse.
- Immediately fill out the 700A form and return it to the District Clerk office. The sooner the process starts, the sooner your loved one can begin treatment.
- The Court will review the petition and meet with the who wrote up the petition. They will be under oath while discussing the allegation brought up.
- The court will determine if the person in question (the respondent) should receive treatment.
- If they find a reason to place the respondent in treatment, they will hold a hearing with an attorney within 14 days. The court will then evaluate the respondent in question.
- The respondent will be evaluated by two healthcare professionals, one of which will be a physician. Their goal is to determine if the respondent needs treatment or not.
- The judge of said evaluation will determine if the respondent should receive treatment. They will order that the respondent undergo 60 to 360 days of treatment based on the evaluation and petition.
Differences Between Kentucky and Ohio
Casey’s Law Ohio is treated similarly to Casey’s Law Kentucky, but you must meet three requirements before submitting a petition to the court. Firstly, the individual must be currently suffering from alcohol or drug abuse. Secondly, they have to present a danger to themselves, their family, or anyone else they are around because of drug abuse. Finally, treatment has to be considered reasonably beneficial. Once you meet all three of these requirements, the court will proceed with their evaluation.
Determine treatment from the individual’s past and their history of drug use. Personalize a good treatment program for their needs. Intervention is an important step to recovery. While it is hard to make a loved one enter treatment, the purpose of Casey’s Law is to streamline the process.
Intervening Can Save Lives
Denial is a hard challenge to overcome while under the influence of substances. You may not feel like there is a problem affecting you or the ones around you. Your family will see it from a different point of view and want to help you. By intervening, they could save your life. Death is ever prominent when drugs are involved, whether it be an overdose or partaking in illegal actions. While you might not want your family to get involved, it is for the best. If there is no intervention, the chances of not getting treatment are higher. By living in Kentucky or Ohio, there is the option for involuntary treatment. Casey’s Law will be the backbone of getting your treatment. Your family will be paying for treatment, so it is best to complete it for them and yourself.
The cause of addiction starts as voluntary action for a majority of people, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), but once your brain has used it once, there is a craving for more. This is why addiction is a disease. Individuals suffering from addiction lose their self-control ability. Several reasons cause an individual to become addicted, and the NIDA listed the major influences.
- Biology is the DNA that makes up a person. This plays into half of the risk for addiction, according to the NIDA. An individual’s gender, ethnicity, and mental illnesses also factor into someone’s chance of becoming addicted.
- The world around someone is a surefire way to influence an individual. Family, friends, or relationships can cause someone to use drugs and become addicted. Economics, peer pressure, past abuse, or other quality of life factors will also play a role in addiction.
- Genetics and the environment around you will always play a role, but the development cycle as a person is also something to remember. The earlier an individual uses drugs, the more likely they become addicted and use it into adulthood. Substances influence the brain, making addiction more common in young adults.
There is no single reason why a person becomes addicted. It is a cluster of reasons that drive an individual to this point. Once absorbed by addiction, whether it be alcohol or illicit drugs, it is up to you to get treatment. If you deny your problem and continue abusing substances, the family will step in and try to help. With Casey’s Law, you won’t have a choice. At this point, accept that your family is doing what is best for you and begin recovery before the worst happens. Additionally, understanding the different treatment options will help your petition when working with courts.
Treatment Options for Addiction
It doesn’t matter if an individual is undergoing voluntary or involuntary treatment; knowing the options available is essential. The three most common forms of treatment include detoxification, inpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) lays out the three as the most effective ways to help an individual recover.
- Detoxification is also known as detox. It is the process of draining your system of drugs or alcohol while under medical professionals’ supervision. This process puts the patient under a controlled withdrawal state to begin recovery. Detox will be held in a medical facility to get the best results. Medical professionals should supervise the entire process for the safety of the patient.
- Inpatient treatment is a standard option for treatment that takes place at a formal medical facility. Generally, inpatient programs involve living at a facility for 3 to 6 months to learn about addiction and work with medical staff to recover. This program entails support groups, addiction education, monitoring, and physical treatment for addiction.
- This form of treatment is more relaxed than the previous program discussed. Outpatient treatment is commonly the follow-up program for inpatient treatment. Generally, this program will involved support groups and therapy on a daily or weekly basis. It is up to the patient to attend meetings and maintain their commitment to recovery. Outpatient treatment is much cheaper than inpatient since you’re not staying at a facility but can last longer, lasting one month to a year.
The process of recovery is challenging and time-consuming. There is no easy way out when fighting the disease of addiction. By taking the first step of accepting you have a problem, you can truly begin the path of recovery. Not every person will experience the same recovery treatment. There will be those who only share one treatment option, while others might undergo a mixture of the three.
Where to Go From Here?
While Casey’s Law might not be available everywhere, individuals in Kentucky and Ohio should take advantage of it if they have a loved one struggling with addiction. By getting help for that person, they can live a longer sober life and not have to worry about the consequences of continuing their addiction. You can avoid premature death from substance abuse by getting the proper help. A family should be able to get their loved one into treatment, so call your local politicians and demand Casey’s Law. Involuntary treatment has helped so many people who were living in denial of their addiction. Without Casey’s Law, the consequences could have been devastating.
If you are in a position to get treatment voluntarily, call us at the number below today. We want to get your set up with a personalized recovery program as soon as possible. Call us today at (706) 480-8733. By starting the path to recovery now, your future can be anything you make it.
Written by: Tristan Kutzer