Drug Court

West Virginia’s Drug Court program has, among many other achievements, recently celebrated the birth of 70 drug-free babies, to those participating in the program. Since January 2011, largely due to the program’s efforts, dozens of participants – men and women – have welcomed healthier babies into the world because they stuck to the treatment plan developed for those who go through drug court.

Juveniles who wind up in the program are usually involved for six to eight months and must meet with a drug court judge weekly and a probation officer several times a week. Addiction is not a pre-requisite to involvement in the program, for juveniles.

But adults who go through drug court are already addicted. They spend no less than a year, and sometimes two years in which they are required to maintain sobriety. They attend counseling sessions, submit to drug tests several times a week, perform community service, attend education programs and go through their own personal rehab programs. They must also meet with probation officers and judges regularly.

This very thorough judicial approach to tackling the problem of drug addiction in our state has meant great things for the next generation. As West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Brent D. Benjamin put it, every drug-free baby born from this group is a “unique achievement.”

There is hope that, if the cycle is not entirely broken, perhaps it is beginning to crack. No victory is too small in the fight against the addictions that grip so many in our state. Each of these 70 tiny new victories is a cause for great celebration, indeed.