Mother Lobbies for Heroin Intervention

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.

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About Callie Lyons

RCNN Publisher and Editor Callie Lyons is an independent journalist and author living in the Mid Ohio Valley. Her first book, Stain-Resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal: The Hidden Dangers of C8, is available at Amazon.com and in hundreds of libraries all over the world. Known as a "warrior for public health", Lyons' environmental investigations have been featured in documentaries, including Good Neighbors - Bad Blood and Toxic Soup, on Swedish National Television and in numbers of television, radio and print media interviews. Her work has appeared on Nova's Whiz Kids and in Mother Jones magazine. More recently, a national audience has come to know her award-winning investigative work through the Environmental Working Group and interviews with leading publications like the Huffington Post and The Intercept. Lyons' work was featured in the 2017 documentary Parched:Toxic Waters by National Geographic. According to Dr. Arlene Blum of the Green Science Policy Institute at UC Berkeley, Lyons' book provided the inspiration for the Madrid Statement, which documents the scientific consensus regarding the persistence and potential for harm of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances like PFOA and lays out a roadmap to gather needed information and prevent further harm. In 2006, Lyons received the Associated Press of Ohio Award for Best Business Writer. In 2007, Ohio Citizen Action presented Lyons with the Uncovering the Truth Award for her environmental journalism. In 2015, the Marietta 9-12 Project awarded Lyons the Freedom Pin for her commitment to democracy and free press.
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