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Senators look to expand and improve drug and veteran treatment courts

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 10:59 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2020 at 11:00 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - One of the programs being funded is a grant program for the state’s adult drug courts and veterans treatment courts. Almost $750,000 will be going into this program, according to Senator Shelley Moore Capito. The purpose is to expand and enhance the various courts across West Virginia.

You can see on the state’s online drug court map that there are currently nine counties that do not have access to these services. You can see the map here: http://www.courtswv.gov/lower-courts/adult-drug-courts/ADCMap9-15-2020.pdf

Dallas Reynolds, a coordinator at the West Central Regional Drug Court, says that this can force people to move.

“It’s hard for them to pick up their lives and move to a different county when they don’t know anybody but sometimes that is what’s necessary to get them on that path to recovery,” she said.

The purpose of drug court is to get people with addiction reintegrated into society through community support and learned coping skills. However, in her experience, drug courts can have limited reach Reynolds said, adding that it’s hard to find some participants the treatment they need, from housing, depending on their criminal record, to counseling services. Limited resources is especially an issue for veterans in the area.

Lack of resources in drug courts can also be piled on top of a participants' limited personal resources.

When asked about how she’s seen this effect people, Reynolds said “It makes them struggle. They don’t feel like they have that community support and a lot of them go back to their old friends and turn back to the life of drugs and are unable to maintain sobriety because of the lack of resources available.”

However, Capito says, for people who do succeed in drug courts, the graduations can be very moving. In fact, at one graduation she attended, a participant prepared and sang an original song about his gratefulness.

Reynolds hopes that the money will go into more training for professionals working in drug courts.

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