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Kentucky lawmakers move to expand community based opioid recovery program

A bipartisan measure, HB 127 expands access to “Tim’s Law,” an evidence-based treatment program...
A bipartisan measure, HB 127 expands access to “Tim’s Law,” an evidence-based treatment program that creates more effective avenues for mental health treatment. (FILE)(WKYT)
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 2:57 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The Health and Family Services Committee passed a measure expediting services for those in need of court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) in Kentucky. A bipartisan measure, HB 127 expands access to “Tim’s Law,” an evidence-based treatment program that creates more effective avenues for mental health treatment.

Tim’s Law allows state courts to order AOT for individuals grappling with recovery and who are unlikely to seek treatment on their own. The law is intended to help someone with serious mental illness break the cycle of involuntary hospitalizations, incarceration, and homelessness by using a support network approach, typically comprised of a judge and community health providers.

“It’s not always easy to get your loved ones to help. If you’re determined to keep pursuing, there are solutions,” said Johnathan Gay, deputy counsel, with Addiction Recovery Care. “It’s critical whether, it’s addiction or mental health treatment sometimes the two-run hand-in-hand that they receive constant treatment.”

“This bill instills hope for communities that don’t always get the care they need and often are forgotten about,” said Representative Ken Fleming, the Louisville Republican who co-sponsored the bill. “We have to find ways to get them out of this revolving situation that often leads right to harmful behaviors. It’s a system of care we’re building, one that helps individuals manage their lives better and provides the right tools for a successful recovery.”

Kentucky became the 45th state to adopt Tim’s Law in 2017 with a pilot program throughout the Greater Louisville region. According to mental health experts, the measure has proven effective in allowing families, mental health providers, law enforcement officers, and others to help someone with a serious mental illness.

To read the bill, tap here.

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