In the past year, several people have gone to court to fight against their alcohol abuse.
But now a new legal challenge could change that.
David Schoen is an alcoholic, but not the kind you might expect.
Schoen, who lives in Alabama, suffers from multiple sclerosis.
He was a registered nurse when he was diagnosed with the condition and uses a wheelchair to get around.
His case, which was heard by the Alabama Supreme Court last week, has attracted a lot of attention.
The high court has decided to hear a case from two Alabama women who are seeking to overturn a criminal conviction they say is based on false testimony.
A new federal lawsuit could change how people with disabilities and alcoholics are treated.
David and Mary Schoen have been battling the Alabama Department of Corrections for more than a decade.
They are now suing the state’s top court, saying that the Department of Rehabilitation Services lied to them about Schoen’s illness.
They say the state failed to provide proper medical treatment for Schoen, as required under state law.
They have been fighting for more treatment since the state revoked their civil rights in 2014, saying they were discriminated against because they are disabled.
In 2015, the state of Alabama decided to reform the criminal justice system by revoking the civil rights of the Schoen family.
In 2017, the Schonens filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, asking the court to order the Alabama State Department of Correction to conduct an independent investigation into their treatment.
The Schoenens say the prison refused to listen to them, and that they have suffered medical complications from Schoen.
Mary Schoen told Al Jazeera:I think that the state has tried to be as good as it can be and, frankly, they have not been.
They said that they were told that Schoen had chronic pain from the time he was a baby and had been taking anti-inflammatory drugs for years.
Mary told Aljazeera:I’ve been told that I have a terminal illness, and they were telling me that I was a danger to myself.
But that’s not what happened.
Mary said that Schön had a history of self-harm and other criminal behaviour.
She said she suffered from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mary says she is not alone in feeling that she was mistreated by the state.
A lot of people have suffered with the same issues, she said.
She added that they say that they didn’t receive the right care and treatment.
She said:I feel that I am entitled to the same treatment as everybody else, and I don’t think that they should treat me differently than anybody else, she added.
Al Jazeera spoke to Mary Schoein, David Schoen and the other plaintiffs in the case.
Mary and David Schoeins told AlJazeera that they did not want their families to be stigmatised because they have had alcohol abuse issues and that alcohol use has caused them to have multiple sclerosis and depression.
They want the Alabama state to take action to change its criminal justice policies so that people with mental health issues and addiction problems are treated equally.
Mary explained that they feel that the criminal system has treated them unfairly because they were disabled and because they suffered from multiple disorders.
Mary added that she has never had an alcohol problem.
The Alabama state’s chief of corrections, Michael Taylor, told Al Jena in an interview that Schoeens case has been dealt with by the Department for Rehabilitation services, the Alabama Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Alabama Bar Association.
He told Al Jadeja that they are trying to determine if there is a policy that should be changed or if there needs to be a new state law that is in place.
Al Jadeja reported from Atlanta.