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Recently the Kentucky Attorney General defended ‘Casey’s Law’ in court as a necessary tool for fighting the on-going drug epidemic. Drug and alcohol intervention is an essential tool to help drug users understand the importance of treatment. Not every addict is willing to accept treatment or even admit they have an addiction. The Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Abuse Intervention allows family members and friends to secure court-ordered drug treatment for a loved one struggling with addiction. Casey’s Law was passed in 2004 after a man named Matthew Casey Wethington, a 23 years old Kentucky resident, died of a heroin overdose. His parents tried in vain to secure involuntary drug treatment for him but were unsuccessful.

The Law outlines a process by which a family member or friend can file a petition before the district court to determine if a loved one should be ordered to undergo treatment. Court-ordered treatment is common within the United States, and many families work with professional interventionists to make this happen. Court-ordered intervention is not different than drug and alcohol intervention because there are still consequences if a person refuses treatment. Professional interventionists often help families facilitate court-ordered or mandated treatment and even perform an intervention to help the drug-addicted person understand the importance of treatment. Casey’s Law provides a means of intervening with someone unable to recognize his or her need for treatment.

Court Ordered Drug Treatment and Staging an Intervention

Mandatory treatment is defined as treatment ordered, motivated, or supervised under the criminal justice system. Drug courts within the United States offer a person charged with a crime the choice of treatment instead of incarceration. Families staging a family intervention would explore this option if the drug-addicted person were caught up in the criminal justice system. Mandating addicts to treatment has become common within several states. The results have indicated that a person coerced into treatment by the criminal justice system is likely to do as well as one who enters voluntarily. The same process occurs when staging drug and alcohol intervention. The drug-addicted person is coerced into treatment as the family has consequences if they do not attend drug rehabilitation.

The average person addicted to drugs or alcohol is never ready to go to treatment. However, once they are into therapy, oftentimes, they can find the place where they are ready for a change. Mandating treatment or family intervention saves lives. Drugs and alcohol are powerful, and anyone addicted to drugs ignores the consequences of their drug use. There is a well-established link between crime and substance abuse, and many addicts are caught up in the criminal justice system. Drug and alcohol intervention and ‘Casey’s Law’ could be implemented at any time, regardless if the individual is caught up with the criminal justice system. The purpose is to save their life and get the help they need without delay.

Drug Abuse Intervention and the Criminal Justice System

Drug abuse and addiction are the root cause of 21% of crimes committed in American, per a 2017 Bureau of Justice report. These are individuals in state and local prisons incarcerated for crimes committed to obtain drugs or money for drugs. Approximately 40% of those locked up for property crimes and 14% of those incarcerated for violent crimes reported that they had committed these offenses for drug-related reasons. More than half of the state prison population and two-thirds of the sentenced jail population report using drugs at the time of the offense. Over 50% of offenders in US prisons and jails have a substance use disorder, and two-thirds will be re-arrested within 36 months of release.

The likelihood of receiving treatment in prison is not as good as it would be outside of the prison system. Only about one-quarter of those reporting drug dependence had received treatment, out of close to half a million people in prison because of their addiction. Court-ordered treatment, drug and alcohol intervention, and laws like ‘Casey’s Law’ work to intervene early before the prison system takes over. Staging an intervention begins with hiring a professional interventionist. Even if your loved one is caught up with the criminal justice system, there are still options to help them. Drug and alcohol addiction become an endless circle of guilt, remorse, and harm.

Drug and Alcohol Intervention Works

The intervention process is successful, and it works when organized with a professional interventionist. When families organize an intervention, they are taking control and deciding to do something about the addiction. The reality of it is without intervention; the addiction does not necessarily go away; it becomes worse. Family intervention is typically a two-day process, where the first day is spent with the family, and the second day is when the intervention occurs. During the first day, the intervention is organized and planned, while the family is also being helped. It is crucial to have people there who will not be swayed easily by the drug-addicted individual.

The interventionist ensures the intervention stays on track and moves forward. Once the intervention is complete, the addict is brought to treatment, but the intervention does not stop there. The family interventionist continues to work with the family and support them with keeping their loved one in treatment, especially during the first weeks of rehabilitation. Drug and alcohol intervention’s work, and it is never too late to plan and execute a family intervention.



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