For the third year, treatment and recovery advocates were inducted into the Kentucky Recovery Hall of Fame. The inductees, including Addiction Recovery Care’s Charlotte Wethington, were recognized during the Kentucky Chamber’s 5th Annual Kentucky Recovery in the Workplace Conference in Lexington.
Wethington received the Jay Davidson Award, which recognizes individuals who have advocated for Kentuckians in their journeys to long-term recovery. Her personal connection to and decades-long advocacy on behalf of the recovery community is nothing short of inspiring.
In 2002, Wethington received the news no mother ever wants to hear. Her son, Casey, had died from an overdose. Although she was grieving, Charlotte knew she needed to do something. She knew there were other families who feared losing their loved ones and felt they had no way to help connect with the treatment and services they needed to get healthy. And she wanted to do something about it.
Charlotte used her passion to advocate for “Casey’s Law” in Kentucky, which became effective July 13, 2004. The law allows loved ones to petition a court for drug rehabilitation. Parents, relatives, or friends of a person with a substance use disorder can lawfully intervene and request involuntary, court-ordered addiction treatment on their behalf. The law has helped saved many lives throughout Kentucky and been a catalyst for getting people into treatment when they need it most.
“To be the recipient of the 2023 Jay Davidson Recovery Hall of Fame Award is truly an amazing honor. As he has done for so many, Jay paved the way for me, a grieving mom who two decades ago knew nothing of recovery advocacy,” said Wethington. “Casey’s Law is a testament to the power of shared stories and of devoted advocates who carry the message of hope in recovery. It has been my privilege and purpose to be the bearer of Casey’s light and to be a part of a growing chorus for recovery. Hopefully in so doing, other states whether near or far will replicate the process that’s been proven to work in Kentucky for 18 years.”
During the last 20 years, Wethington has devoted her life to treatment and recovery. She speaks at every opportunity to raise awareness about the disease of addiction and inspires other advocates. Wethington also spent 10 years serving as Recovery Advocate for Transitions, Inc., an agency providing treatment and related services for families with substance use disorders.
In 2022, Wethington, alongside Kimberly Wright and Joan Arlinghaus, who also serve on the Casey’s Law Foundation board, joined Addiction Recovery Care as recovery advocates. In their role with ARC, the trio travels throughout the state, educating partners and community members about Casey’s Law and its important role in helping individuals with substance use disorder and their loved ones.
In addition to Wethington, the Recovery Hall of Fame honored three other leaders in the treatment and recovery field.
Van Ingram, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, received the Congressman Hal Rogers Award, which recognizes Kentucky policymakers, elected officials and public officials who have advocated for legislation and public policies to address the addiction crisis and help more Kentuckians reach long-term recovery from substance use disorders.
Toyotomi is the Kentucky Recovery Hall of Fame’s Employer of the Year, which recognizes a business that has championed second chance employment and helped reduce stigma around recovery in the workplace. Toyotomi is a certified Fair Chance Employer by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy and Kentucky Chamber Foundation.
Jeff Whitehead, former executive director of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, received a Special Honor in recognition of his decades-long career with EKCEP and his role in creating innovative workforce programs for people in recovery.