There have been many unfortunate cases of overdose from addiction, and many loving family members and friends mourn of the missed opportunity to help their loved one seek help that could have saved their life. One law has been set in place in Kentucky and Ohio to help friends and family take a stance against their loved one’s addiction. According to, this law allows parents, relatives, and friends to intervene on a loved one regardless of age and without any criminal charges. With this law, a person can petition court-ordered treatment for their loved one before it’s too late.

The law was created in honor of Matthew Casey Wethington, a 23-year old whose life was lost due to heroin overdose on August 19th, 2002. Casey grew up in a middle-class, loving home, and as a child, he participated in sports such as basketball, baseball, soccer, and wrestling. Casey engaged in a variety of hobbies, including collecting baseball cards, playing video games, playing the guitar, riding bikes and skateboarding. Casey struggled with addiction and his family expected him to make the decision to seek treatment. His parents attempted to intervene with him on this, but those efforts were rejected by Casey.

The death of Casey sparked a conversation on being able to help our loved ones who have an addiction but will not choose to seek treatment on their own. The law was set in place in Kentucky and Ohio in 2004 and has sought to help people before addiction takes their lives. One mother in Louisville, Kentucky utilized this law to help get her son into treatment from addiction. Thanks to this action, he has now been sober for one year and helps other people, alongside his mother, in a treatment center.

The law requires a petition showing that their loved one is endangering themselves or others, a court examination, and a medical evaluation to be completed by two health care professionals, including a doctor. Treatment options through this law typically range from detoxification to intensive treatment through recovery, and those petitioning for it are responsible for all fees associated with court and treatment.

Involuntary commitment for drug addiction is available in most states, but it is not widely used because many people do not know about it and because they cannot afford to pay for the treatment even if their loved one was required to seek help. If you have an addiction, make the decision to seek help for yourself. You could save your own life.

New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment programs. If you are ready to begin treatment, call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation.

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