Advocacy against heroin has come a long way in Kentucky, but one couple feel more needs to be done.
Two of these people are parents who lost their child to a heroin addiction in 2012, Fox19 reported. Charlotte and Jim Wethington lost their son, Casey, after an overdose. After his death, the Wethingtons turned to state legislation to help create Casey’s Law. The law gives a guardian of a person with an addiction permission to court order him or her to an addiction recovery program, whether he or she wants to or not. The law has now been in effect for 10 years.
The Wethingtons believe the law provides hope for those who are unwilling to help themselves. The couple wishes they could have used the law on their own son, giving them an option to get him treatment when he needed it most.
Kentucky was ranked the third highest number of drug overdose deaths
According to Trust for America’s Health, Kentucky was ranked the state with the third highest number of drug overdose deaths in the United States in October 2013. For every 100,000 people in the state in 2013, 23.6 die of a drug overdose.
Aside from creating a law, the Wethingtons have also spent time spreading awareness. They refurbished their son’s old VW van and have begun trekking across the country to inspire people. They hope that their visits to several communities will help educate people on heroin addiction and treatment and create advocacy.
They believe there are many parents and guardians who now are in a position with a loved one the Wethingtons once were. The couple stated that they know the dangers of having a loved one with an heroin addiction, but often parents do not know where to turn or what resources to seek out. They trust that their van and the law will help guide people’s way.
Family can be one of the best inspirations for a person’s addiction treatment. Every family’s situation is different, so there may be different approaches involved. One of the best ways a family can help their loved one is to find a proper addiction recovery program and support and encourage him or her during recovery.