Local woman working to have involuntary drug rehab law passed in state

By LEA RIZZO, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 5/15/16

One local woman is working to get an involuntary drug rehabilitation law passed in Alabama.

The law, which JoAnn Hendrix is calling Jamie’s Law, would provide a means for families to petition the court to order their …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Local woman working to have involuntary drug rehab law passed in state

Posted
One local woman is working to get an involuntary drug rehabilitation law passed in Alabama. The law, which JoAnn Hendrix is calling Jamie’s Law, would provide a means for families to petition the court to order their loved one with a drug problem to be placed in an involuntary drug rehabilitation treatment program. In a paper outlining the objective of Jamie’s Law that Hendrix sent to the Governor’s office, she describes it as a law that would provide a means of intervening with someone who is unable to recognize their need for treatment due to substance-abuse impairment of their mind. This would be similar to Casey’s Law, also known as the Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Abuse Intervention, in Kentucky. There is currently no law in Alabama that could force an adult into involuntary treatment. Hendrix explained, “Involuntary drug rehab would be where the court would petition you to go [to treatment] but you can’t get out.” Now, people who are taken to a treatment center can choose to leave whenever they want. Hendrix added that locked down facilities are a good thing because people can’t just choose to leave the facility without ever receiving treatment. “When you have harsh withdrawal symptoms [like what] heroin causes, you’re not going to want to stay” in a treatment facility, she explained. Hendrix said that her grandson didn’t even spend one night in the first treatment facility she took him to and that her son walked out of two treatment facilities. Jamie’s Law was inspired by the daughter of one of Hendrix’s friends. Jamie was a young mother of two who died of a heroin overdose shortly before the start of the 2015-2016 school year. Her two children are now being raised by her mother. According to data from the Center for Disease Control, “Since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137 [percent].” Additionally, “During 2014, 47,055 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. ... In 2014, 61 [percent] of drug overdose deaths involved some type of opioid, including heroin.” Hendrix is starting a special interst group, Families Do Care, to bring attention to the need for involuntary drug rehab treatment in Alabama. She said she has already seen support from the community and other people she has spoken to about the issue. In addition to contacting the Governor’s office, Hendrix is looking for people interested in traveling to Montgomery to speak with lawmakers on the issue. The group will be holding a meeting today at 2 p.m. at Gamble Park in Jasper to discuss Jamie’s Law and interest in traveling to Montgomery. “It’s a good thing, we need this law in Alabama. We don’t even have a count for all the overdoses. ... We do have a problem and it should be attended to. ... It gets to the point where substance abusers can’t help themselves and you have to” help them, Hendrix said. Those looking for more information, interested in joining Families Do Care or traveling to Montgomery can contact JoAnn Hendrix at 205-522-0074 or joannhendrix18@yahoo. com.