What States Have Casey's Law?

Posted by Jackson Bentley on May 2, 2018 8:00:00 AM
Jackson Bentley
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What States have Casey's Law?

Casey’s law , officially known as the Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Abuse Intervention became law on April 9, 2004 in the state of Kentucky. The law was also enacted in the state of Ohio. There are currently multiple other states with pending petitions to add Casey’s Law or similar legislation.


Casey’s Law in Kentucky

Addicts are often in denial about the true state of their addiction. For that reason, they are often averse to seeking treatment options. Casey’s Law was enacted to allow close friends, loved ones, and relatives of addicts to legally mandate people to attend a treatment program. The process involves petitioning a court to judge the severity of the afflicted person’s addiction and rendering a judgement on whether to commit that person and to what extent their treatment should encapsulate.


Casey's Law in Ohio

Casey's Law works in Ohio in the same manner as it does in Kentucky. The bill was signed into law in March of 2012, and contains the same process for entering someone into rehab, which involves obtaining a court's ruling on whether the person is a veritable danger to themselves or not. 


What is Casey’s Law


A gavel. Casey's Law is a way that some individuals in Kentucky get their loved ones into rehab.


Where Does Casey’s Law Come From

In 2002, at the young age of 23, Matthew Casey Wellington passed away after entering into a heroin induced coma. His family had been convinced that when he had hit rock bottom he would finally be ready to enter rehab, but this did not happen. While it may work for many, the mindset of waiting for rock bottom can be a danger to adhere to because it could result in a fatal overdose, like with Casey. It could also lead to shared intravenous needle use, resulting in Hepatitis C or HIV. After Casey’s family had done all they could to convince him to go to rehab, they realized that perhaps in some cases, an addict needs a more forceful hand to accept treatment. 


How Does Casey’s Law Work

If you are seeking to enter a loved one into rehab in Louisville or the surrounding Kentucky area, you may want to look into filing for the use of Casey’s Law. To do so, follow these instructions:


  • Get a copy of the petition from the District Court clerk’s office or here
  • Fill out the petition on their behalf and file it with the District Court clerk here.
  • The court will review your claims made in the petition and will question you under oath.
  • The court will determine if there is probable cause to require treatment for your loved one.
  • If there is probable cause, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent your loved one, require your loved one to be evaluated, and schedule a hearing within 14 days.
  • Your loved one will be notified of the date and purpose of the hearing.
  • Your loved one is evaluated by two qualified health professionals, one being a physician, to determine if your loved one could benefit from treatment.
  • The court will order treatment for anywhere between 60 days and 360 days, and can range from detoxification to intensive treatment.

From there, the court will work with you and your loved one to select a treatment center within your price range, work with insurance companies to uncover any coverage options, and oftentimes the treatment center will arrange for pickup and transportation.


What Else Should I Know About Casey’s Law

If you’re on the fence as to whether or not Casey’s Law is the right option for you to pursue, you should be aware that mandatory treatment has seen promising results. The National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted a study on the viability of mandatory treatment for inmates over a period of five years. At the end of the study, groups of men who were forced to enter rehab had the same amount of abstinence rates as the groups who were enthusiastic about entering rehab.

Addiction is a brain disease that creates chemical changes in the brain. Addicts in the throes of addiction are not fully capable of making fully informed decisions. You should also know that Kentucky courts will allow you to file for Casey’s Law multiple times. Relapses are unfortunately a common occurrence for addicts suffering from a serious chemical dependency. Another good aspect about Casey’s Law is that the costs for treatment are legally required to be laid out before you make a decision to send your loved one somewhere. The only upfront costs associated with Casey’s Law go towards the services of the two medical professionals required to evaluate the selected person.


Next Steps

At Landmark Recovery, or experienced staff has dealt with a wide range of treatment methods and approaches for substance abuse disorders, including Casey's Law. If you’re seeking rehab in Louisville, or rehab in Lexington and are concerned for the well-being of yourself or a loved one abusing substances, reach out to our team and we’ll walk you through the process for enrolling.



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Topics: Casey's Law

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