GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT)- 90 percent of the cases heard at Lenoir County’s courthouse involve some sort of drug abuse.
For years the system has offered “drug court.” It’s a way to improve the lives of abusers and their families. One judge says it’s needed now more than ever.
Judge Beth Heath said, “When I first started drug court it was more along the lines of crack and cocaine, now almost everybody that comes in here, we’re dealing with prescription pain medication.”
Judge Heath says the opioid epidemic is real and it’s nationwide. She says drug court works and it’s how Lenoir County tries to halt the issue.
“The goal is to get kids and their families reunited,” Heath said.
That goal isn’t reached without a team. Both Judge Heath and district administrator Colleen Kosinski work with people who deal with substance abuse. Most have lost their children because of the addiction.
“If they need help with employment we help them with that, we help them with housing,” district administrator Colleen Kosinski said.
The program is not required, but the judge does recommend it. Families have meetings every other week and someone monitors their progress
“People are not successful in substance abuse treatment until they decide that they’re done and they’re ready to do something else. We just offer them an opportunity and a vehicle to do it in,” Heath said.
While these two can’t make miracles happen. They say lives are changed in this courtroom and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We have a big party at the end where they get a cake and we really celebrate their accomplishment,” Kosinski said.
Other counties offer the program, it’s just not required.
Drug court administrators are always looking for incentives and prizes for participants. If you want to donate you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org