NY Senator Wants to Mandate Drug Addiction Treatment for Minors

Posted on January 22nd, 2010
Posted in Abused Drugs

A grieving New York mother has enlisted the help of state Senator Brian Foley to help bring awareness of teen drug abuse to the forefront of the government. Sen. Foley is sponsoring a bill called Denise’s Law, designed to increase parental control when it comes to enrolling minor children in drug addiction treatment.

Under current law, children under the age of 18 can check themselves out of drug rehab. If Denise’s Law is passed, however, it would allow parents as well as guardians to obtain court orders, remanding their children back into treatment programs, regardless of the child’s desire to continue.

The bill, now awaiting a sponsor in the Assembly, also requires insurance companies to cover the cost of detox.

At a news conference Thursday at a high school in Farmingville, Foley called heroin use among teenagers a "problem growing out of control" and promised his bill would help remove "road blocks" for families trying to help their kids.

Suffolk County statistics show that there have been at least 174 heroin-related deaths from 2006 to present, and one out of every 10 have been under 21.

The legislation, supported by substance abuse treatment groups and local educational associations, was crafted with input from the Sachem Parent Teacher Association and the AWARE committee, made up of parents, students, educators and local community leaders.

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