A local mother mourning the heroin-related death of her daughter is headed to Charleston to ask legislators to put in place a bill that would allow parents like her to commit their adult children to drug rehab facilities.
In 2004, the state of Kentucky passed Casey’s Law – a measure that provides a means of intervening with someone who is unable to recognize the need for treatment because of addiction or impairment. It allows parents, relatives or friends to petition the court for treatment on behalf of the drug abuse-impaired person.
Tina Hendershot Miller believes such a law could have helped her save her daughter’s life. Alyssa Hendershot passed away at the age of 23 on December 11, 2014 from a heroin overdose leaving behind her then three-year-old daughter. Tina is raising her granddaughter and lobbying lawmakers to give parents like her real hope through intervention.
Alyssa never intended to become an addict. Her problem arose out of painkillers given to her for complications after the birth of her daughter. Once the medical system cut her off, she could only obtain the prescription drugs on the street – and that led to a more serious narcotic problem. Although she repeatedly tried to get help for her daughter, Tina was repeatedly told that she could do nothing because Alyssa was an adult.
West Virginia has the highest overdose rate in the country. Tina says studies show that involuntary treatment can be just as successful as voluntary treatment. In memory of her daughter, she is fighting to give parents this desperate option – called Alyssa’s Law.
“Please come together and unite to save our children,” she says.
Tina is going to the statehouse on January 13 to present Alyssa’s Law.