WAVE 3 News Editorial: September 27, 2016: Jennifer's Act

WAVE 3 News Editorial: September 27, 2016: Jennifer's Act

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Sadly, 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

Kentucky ranks second in the nation in drug overdoses for people of all ages and 7th for people between the ages of 12-25. Indiana ranks 12th among states nationally in drug overdoses for ages 12-25, and 15th among all ages.

Both states have made strides in trying to deal head on with the problem.

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We applaud one Indiana mom, Sharon Blair, who lobbied hard for legislation named for her daughter Jennifer, who was a drug overdose victim seven years ago.  The Jennifer Act, House Bill 1448 in Indiana, was passed last year in the Hoosier state, and a version of it was passed this year in Florida, where Jennifer died.

We encourage Indiana legislators to add to the Jennifer Act by increasing funding for treatment and detox services and making it easier to file a petition for an involuntary commitment - the same process Kentucky adopted known as Casey's Law, pushed by his mother when her son Casey died of a heroin overdose 14 years ago.

A judge or magistrate can ok a hospital or treatment center evaluation based on a two-page petition form that doesn't require a family in crisis to hire an attorney.

The whole family suffers when a loved one battles drug addiction and making the involuntary commitment process easier to file is one less burden they need to bear.

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