KENTUCKY — Casey’s Law has helped more than 6,000 people with substance abuse disorders across the Commonwealth.
HB 362 strengthens the existing law by adding in two provisions. It establishes that health care professionals performing examinations may be subject to subpoena for cross examination during a hearing concerning the court-ordered treatment. It also establishes that an order of treatment shall be issued upon finding a proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Johnathan Gay is the Deputy Legal Counsel at Addiction Recovery Care (ARC) which operates a network of 38 addiction treatment centers in 16 Eastern and Central Kentucky counties.
“The importance of Casey’s law is that you have to understand the mindset of someone who’s in addiction. Someone who’s in active addiction is not very eager to get treatment, and they’re going to do everything they can to avoid that treatment until such time comes as they totally crash, then they are forced to get treatment. What Casey’s law allows is for families and friends to look at someone who’s in active addiction and to petition the court to require that person to get treatment if they have conditions that are met. Number one, they have to have a substance use disorder that’s clinically determined by a physician and by a counselor, and number two they have to be found to be a harm to themselves. So I think anytime you have someone that’s in those situations, it behooves us as society to give them help. Casey’s law allows that….The hope is that by strengthening the law, you put it on a better foundation. The risk with the law previously was said it was seen to be a little too intrusive, that it allowed a Casey law order to issue a little too liberally without sufficient proof. Now that things are on a solid footing, the hope is that more courts will embrace it that people recognize legislations is here to stay and then more families will utilize it,” adds Gay.