Four years ago this month, Rachel Meyers died of a heroin overdose at 18 years old, despite her father's attempts to get her help for her addiction.
"I told them, 'She's trying to kill herself. Look, here's the heroin, here are the needles filled with heroin ... but they wouldn't take her unless she agreed," he told the Inlander in 2015.
It's an issue gaining more attention now in Washington state, as lawmakers appear closer to amending state law to make it easier for parents to get treatment for teens even if the teens don't want it. Yesterday, House Bill 1874, which would allow parents to get outpatient mental health or substance use treatment for nonconsenting teens for three months, passed out of the House on an 89-8 vote.
"I just really want to get the awareness out there and get people to support this thing," Meyers says. "Because
Meyers says he does support the bill that passed out of the House
"The ideal protocol would be detox, inpatient, and then outpatient or a halfway house," Meyers says.
Rachel's Law only had two sponsors: Rep. Matt Shea and Rep. Bob McCaslin, both Republicans from Spokane Valley. Both were among the eight representatives to vote against the teen mental health bill that passed out of the House yesterday.
As the Inlander covered in this week's paper, the law Shea and McCaslin voted against was the result of a group of stakeholders that the Legislature tasked last year with providing recommendations regarding teen behavioral health. Initially, it was Democrats skeptical of allowing parents to initiate treatment for
But Meyers says even if that passed out of the Legislature, he still would advocate for more parental control over teen behavioral health.
"I want people to know that it can happen to your daughter," Meyers says.