An Ohio law that allows families to force a loved one into addiction treatment has been used only once since it went into effect in March, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The law has created debate about whether involuntary treatment will work and if the law is unfair because it is only available to families who can afford to foot the bill.
A Cuyahoga County case of a young woman with a severe alcohol abuse problem is the only one in which an Ohio court has forced an adult into treatment. That case seems to have had a positive outcome with the woman agreeing to continue treatment beyond the court-ordered time frame. The law roughly mirrors a similar measure passed in Kentucky eight years ago after “Casey” Wethington, 23, died of a heroin overdose. Wethington’s mother, Charlotte, pushed for change because she felt there were very few tools for family members to help adult addicts who were spiraling out of control. Ohio’s law requires family members to sign an up-front agreement that they will pay the total bill for treatment and give the court a deposit for half of the amount.