Kris Hutchins is photographed with the founder of Casey’s Law, Charlotte Wethington.
There may be no greater feeling of helplessness than watching a loved one struggle with addiction and unwilling to seek treatment. With resources such as Casey’s Law, however, friends and family members have the power to get their loved ones the help they need before it is too late. Isaiah House has Casey’s Law advocates on staff ready to help you through the process.
What is Casey’s Law?
Casey’s Law is an involuntary treatment act that allows parents, relatives or friends to have a loved one court-ordered into treatment for up to 360 days. The law works by filing a petition with the court, having the person evaluated by Qualified Health Professionals and if probable cause is determined, ordered into a treatment facility.
Casey’s Law is the product of a mother’s love and was introduced by a woman with first-hand knowledge of how substance use disorder impacts individuals and families.
When Charlotte Wethington’s son, Casey, died of a heroin overdose at age 23, she had exhausted efforts to get him help. Since Casey was an adult, Charlotte could not force him into treatment. Had she been able to, she knows it could have saved his life.
Casey’s death and Charlotte’s perseverance in the fight against addiction inspired the creation of Casey’s Law in 2004 to help others. Today, many advocates of Casey’s Law are parents like Charlotte who are doing all they can to save their children.
Why court-ordered treatment may be needed
While choosing recovery is an important part of a person’s journey through addiction treatment, many suffering from substance use disorder are unable to recognize their need for help. Casey’s Law allows family or friends to intervene and petition the court for treatment on their loved one’s behalf.
Seeking treatment voluntarily also often means a person must hit their “rock bottom.” For too many people, though, rock bottom could result in death. Fatal overdoses are on the rise as substances such as fentanyl infiltrate drug supplies and time is running out for more and more who are struggling with substance use disorder.
When ordered into treatment through Casey’s Law, a person suffering from substance use disorder may finally find sobriety and clarity to make decisions about their future and realize their need for long-term treatment and recovery.
Casey’s Law allows intervention before the legal system
Other methods of court-ordered treatment come through programs such as a Drug Court for those who have become caught up in the criminal justice system amid their addiction. Casey’s Law, however, allows for court-ordered intervention without the person having to be entangled in the legal system and accumulating felonies.
While a legal proceeding, Casey’s Law does not result in criminal charges. If the person needing treatment fails to report to their ordered evaluations or to comply with court-ordered treatment, they could be held in contempt and arrested, but they will not be charged with a crime.
If criminal intervention can be avoided, it will help the person later on in their long-term recovery as they seek employment and housing.
Use of Casey’s Law is on the rise
While Casey’s Law was first enacted in 2004, its use has grown exponentially in Kentucky in recent years and has started to expand to other states such as Ohio.
Efforts to promote the law are part of a larger shift taking place in how substance use disorder and addiction treatment are discussed and addressed in communities.
Let Isaiah House help you with the process
Isaiah House not only offers you an option for faith-based holistic treatment for substance use disorder, but IH can also help you in your Casey’s Law process.
When filing a Casey’s Law petition, you will need to schedule appointments with two Qualified Health Professionals to evaluate the person needing treatment. At least one of these professionals must be a medical doctor and it is suggested the second evaluation be done by a mental health professional.
Isaiah House offers access to both of these professionals at our Danville clinics, Real Health Primary Care and Real Hope Behavioral Health. These clinics are located in adjacent suites of the Southland Plaza at 975 Hustonville Road in Danville.
Dr. Ralph Alvarado, medical director of Isaiah House Treatment Center and his experienced and compassionate staff are available to provide these assessments as well as wrap-around care for your loved one throughout their treatment.
Consider long-term recovery
Casey’s Law can order a person into treatment for as long as one year. The longer amount of time a person spends in treatment and with access to recovery supports, the better their outcome and ability to stay sober. Those who remain in treatment for at least one year are twice as likely to remain drug free.
At Isaiah House, your loved one will be embraced in a loving, Christ-centered environment where they will be equipped with the skills to rebuild their lives in sobriety. IH offers short-term and long-term residential, intensive outpatient (IOP) and outpatient (OP) substance use disorder treatment for men and women.
IH also offers peer support, access to education and employment support, transitional housing and transportation and guaranteed employment opportunities after 100 days of treatment.
Get help today
If you think Isaiah House is right for you or your loved one, call the admissions department today at (859) 375-9200.
The admissions team can also guide you through Casey’s Law or you can find more information on filing Casey’s Law here.
What to know before filing Casey’s Law
- Casey’s law can be filed against anyone 18 and older and can be filed by a parent, relative or friend. A petition can be filed against the same person more than once if needed
- A Casey’s Law petition must be filed at the circuit court clerk’s office in the county in which the person needing treatment resides. Casey’s Law can be served on someone who is considered homeless
- The Casey’s Law petition is called a 700A form (Verified Petition for Involuntary Treatment of Alcohol/Drug Abuse). This form is available at the circuit court clerk’s office in your county or online at caseyslaw.org
- Schedule evaluation appointments with two Qualified Health Professionals before you file the petition so you have the appointment information available to include when filing
- Once filed, the court will review the petition and if probable cause is determined, a judge will order the two evaluations be conducted and set a court date at which treatment will be ordered based on the evaluations and hearing
- Evaluation forms, called 703A, will be provided by the clerk’s office and should be completed by the Qualified Health Professionals. The forms can also be downloaded online at caseyslaw.org. The completed forms should be submitted to the court at least 24 hours before the court date
- Casey’s Law proceedings are closed to the public and confidential. The respondent’s name will not be listed on court dockets. Both the respondent and the petitioner will need to be present in court for the hearing
- The person filing the petition is responsible for locating a detox and treatment facility, selecting which facility to use and ensuring cost of treatment. Low-cost, no-cost and insurance-assisted treatment options are available. The treatment facility should be located immediately after the court date is set
- The petition should provide a detailed history about the respondent, including which substances they use, overdoses, prior attempts at treatment, hospitalizations, mental health concerns and other information that supports a need for treatment
- The petitioner is responsible for informing the court if the respondent does not comply with ordered evaluations or treatment