Casey’s Law

Casey’s Law refers to the Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Abuse Intervention. The law became effective in Kentucky in 2004 and was inspired by Casey Wethington’s death of a heroin overdose. The law allows the parents, relatives, or friends of an addicted person to lawfully intervene and request involuntary, court-ordered addiction treatment for their addicted loved one. This law is only applicable in the states of Kentucky and Ohio.

At Landmark, we work with attorneys and other experts in the law to help you utilize Casey’s Law to send your loved one to treatment. For more information, please speak with one of our Admissions Consultants.


Where Does Casey’s Law Come From?

In 2002, at the young age of 23, Matthew Casey Wellington passed away after entering into a heroin-induced coma. His family had been convinced that when he had hit rock bottom he would finally be ready to enter rehab, but this was not the case. After Casey’s family had done all they could to convince him to go to rehab, they realized that perhaps in some cases, an addict needs a more forceful hand to accept treatment.


How Does Casey’s Law Work?

If you are seeking to enter a loved one into rehab in Louisville or the surrounding Kentucky area, you may want to look into filing for the use of Casey’s Law. To do so, follow these instructions:

  • Get a copy of the petition from the District Court clerk’s office.
  • Fill out the petition on their behalf and file it with the District Court clerk here.
  • The court will review your claims made in the petition and will question you under oath.
  • The court will determine if there is probable cause to require treatment for your loved one.
  • If there is probable cause, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent your loved one, require your loved one to be evaluated, and schedule a hearing within 14 days.
  • Your loved one will be notified of the date and purpose of the hearing.
  • Your loved one is evaluated by two qualified health professionals, one being a physician, to determine if your loved one could benefit from treatment.
  • The court will order treatment for anywhere between 60 days and 360 days and can range from detoxification to intensive treatment.

From there, the court will work with you and your loved one to select a treatment center within your price range, work with insurance companies to uncover any coverage options, and oftentimes the treatment center will arrange for pickup and transportation.


What Else Should I Know About Casey’s Law?

If you’re on the fence as to whether or not Casey’s Law is the right option for you to pursue, you should be aware that mandatory treatment has seen promising results. The National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted a study on the viability of mandatory treatment for inmates over a period of five years. At the end of the study, groups of men who were forced to enter rehab had the same amount of abstinence rates as the groups who were enthusiastic about entering rehab.

You should also know that Kentucky courts will allow you to file for Casey’s Law multiple times and that relapses are unfortunately a common occurrence for addicts suffering from a serious chemical dependency. Another good aspect about Casey’s Law is that the costs for treatment are legally required to be laid out before you make a decision to send your loved one somewhere. The only upfront costs associated with Casey’s Law go towards the services of the two medical professionals required to evaluate the selected person.


If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction in Ohio or Kentucky, and you are looking for an inpatient treatment facility by way of Casey’s Law call us at 888-448-0302 to chat with a recovery specialist. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and get you the information you need to make the best recovery decision for you. Your call is 100% confidential, and we are ready to help you get started whenever you decide that it’s the right time.