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Involuntary Intervention: New Bill Looks To Give More Power To Parents

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LIVONIA (WWJ) – The ban on synthetic marijuana is front and center, but drug abuse, in general, remains a tragic problem for families. If you have a child that abuses and is over 18 years old, the law states a parent cannot demand treatment. But a new bill may give parent’s the right to intervene.

WWJ’s Rob Mason reports on a bill that would allow a spouse, relative, guardian or practitioner to petition to force an individual to be sent for treatment if believed to be a danger to themselves or others.

It’s called involuntary intervention and it’s at the heart of a new bill introduced by Representative John Walsh of Livonia.

“Give a loved one the opportunity to appeal to a court and have a judge determine whether it would be best for the person to be forced into treatment,” said Walsh.

For many families the bill comes to late; Mark Garofoli of Livonia lost his son Mark Jr. last year when he committed suicide. The day he died his mother had begged him to seek help.

“There is nothing you can do, which really handcuffs the families,” said Garofoli.

“I don’t want other families to go through that – this law will save lives and for us, if it saves one life, it would be worth it,” Garofoli said.

By law if an individual older than 18 abuses drugs – a parent can’t force them to get help.

If the intervention bill becomes law Garofoli believes it will result in lives saved and more rights for parents.

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