New program to help drug addicts recover and rehabilitate opens - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

New program to help drug addicts recover and rehabilitate opens up in Raleigh County

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BECKLEY, W.Va. -

For the first time, Raleigh County will have an adult drug court.

"To meet the needs of a lot of addicts who don't necessarily need to go to prison, but who can be helped in the community and restored to a life that's beneficial to the community," Michael Lacy, the Supreme Court Director of Probation Services said.

Raleigh County already has a juvenile drug court. the drug court is the 45th adult one in the state. Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller hopes this will help decline the number of babies born addicted to drugs.

"Everyday in my office it seems I'm signing another petition to remove newborns from their mothers in the hospital because of drug addictions, we got to stop that," Keller said.

The drug court will have specific guidelines each person will abide by. Whether it's a weekly drug test or counseling, it won't be easy. The Honorable Robert Burnside was against the drug court a decade ago. Now he thinks it will help combat the drug problem Raleigh County faces.

"As I talked to other judges in other circuits, I realized it wasn't enough and that this concentrated effort that drug court provides is a tool that will have greater success," Burnside said.
The drug court will accept only first offense drug charges, not criminals with outstanding records.

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