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Ohio Law Allows Involuntary Addiction Treatment, if Families Pay Up Front

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A law that recently went into effect in Ohio allows families to seek involuntary addiction treatment for a loved one—if the family agrees to pay for it.

The law has only been used once since it went into effect in March, The Plain Dealer reports. A similar law was passed in Kentucky eight years ago, the article notes. Unlike the Kentucky law, the Ohio law requires family members to sign an agreement stating they will pay the full bill for treatment, and give the court a deposit for half before treatment begins.

According to Cuyahoga County Probate Court Magistrate David Mills, his court has received many inquiries about the law, but once the family finds out they would have to pay thousands of dollars, they are no longer interested.

Bill Denihan, Chief Executive Officer of Cuyahoga County’s Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, said he is troubled by the financial burden placed on families. “While we have problems with this, we don’t chastise the intent to try and help someone who needs help,” Denihan said. “But this is for those that have money. The question we have is what about those who don’t have money? How is this fair and equitable?”

In Kentucky, families are obligated to pay for treatment costs, but they do not have to pay up front, and can use insurance, or find a treatment program that is free.

2 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of tanya
    tanya / May 31, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I agree it needs to be watched but what about situations such as mine when grandkids are involvesd and u know for a fact there is drug addiction and u cannot get anyone to help. I live on workers comp from a back injury as a nurse and am scheduled for a second surgery. If anyone has info to help I live in Ohio and desperately need help.

  2. Bill Crane / July 14, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    The issue isn’t about what is “fair adn equitable” – it’s about involuntary treatment. This sounds like a reprisal of the tragedy that occurred during the 1980′s when parents sent their kids off the “rehab” when all the kid was doing was experimating a little with pot. The rehab facilities were co-conspirators in this activity. When the kid said “I am not an addict” the intake counselor said that “this is a typical statement from a person in denial” thereby “proving the kid is addicted.” A dangerous move and one that should be watched very carefully.

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