MINEOLA - The state Senate approved a bill last week that would give parents the ability to go directly to a family court judge and petition for their child to be ordered into drug treatment without involving the police.

Currently, minors can easily walk out of a treatment facility without parental permission, unless they are under orders from a judge.

"There are kids who are leaving treatment who are dead of overdoses 24 hours later," says Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, of the Family and Children's Association.

State Sen. Jack Martins (R – Mineola) says the bill would give the court authority to place the child in a 60-day in-patient treatment center. Then, depending on what the provider thinks is necessary, an additional 90 days.

The bill was passed by the Senate last year, but never got out of committee in the Assembly. It is still in committee in the Assembly. The legislative session ends next Thursday.