How Does Casey’s Law Work in Kentucky?
Casey’s Law, also known as the Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Abuse Intervention, is a law that allows family members or friends to petition the court for involuntary treatment for someone struggling with substance abuse. This law was named after Matthew Casey Wethington, who lost his battle with addiction at the age of 23. It aims to provide a pathway for individuals who are unwilling or unable to seek help for their addiction.
Here is a breakdown of how Casey’s Law works in Kentucky:
1. Who can petition for treatment under Casey’s Law?
Any family member, friend, or legal guardian of a person struggling with substance abuse can petition the court for treatment.
2. How does the petition process work?
The petitioner must file a written petition in the district court of the county where the person lives or is present. The petition should include specific information about the individual’s substance abuse and why they need involuntary treatment.
3. Is there a cost associated with filing the petition?
There are no fees associated with filing a petition under Casey’s Law.
4. What happens after the petition is filed?
The court reviews the petition and determines whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed. If approved, a hearing is scheduled within 14 days.
5. What happens at the hearing?
The court hears testimonies and reviews evidence presented by the petitioner and other relevant parties. The individual struggling with substance abuse has the right to legal representation and can present their own evidence as well.
6. Can treatment be ordered without the individual’s consent?
Yes, if the court determines that the person meets the criteria for involuntary treatment, they can order treatment even if the individual does not consent.
7. What types of treatment can be ordered?
The court can order a range of treatment options, including inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient programs, counseling, and medication-assisted treatment.
8. How long does the treatment last?
The initial treatment order can be up to 360 days. However, the court can review the case periodically to determine if treatment should be extended or modified.
9. What happens if the person violates the treatment order?
If the person fails to comply with the treatment order, the court can issue a show cause order, requiring them to appear in court and explain their non-compliance. Additional consequences may be imposed, such as extending the treatment period or imposing penalties.
Casey’s Law in Kentucky provides a valuable tool for families and friends to intervene and seek help for their loved ones struggling with substance abuse. It recognizes the urgency and severity of addiction and allows for intervention when traditional methods have not been successful.
By providing a legal pathway for involuntary treatment, Casey’s Law aims to save lives and give individuals a chance to recover from addiction, even if they are initially unwilling or unable to seek help themselves.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, Casey’s Law can be a lifeline. Reach out to legal professionals or substance abuse treatment centers to understand the process and seek guidance on filing a petition. Remember, recovery is possible, and Casey’s Law is here to help.