Drug Court aims to combat opioid crisis by keeping addicts accountable for their recovery

    Commonwealth's Attorney Bethany Harrison says the drug court attempts to break the cycle of addiction. (WSET)

    LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- The City of Lynchburg is working to combat the opioid crisis one person at a time with their Drug Court.

    The Lynchburg Drug Court began with a goal of helping people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

    The program gives participants access to resources to help them reach sobriety.

    Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney Bethany Harrison says it also holds people accountable for their own recovery.

    "We're hoping to break that cycle of addiction, where someone is testing positive," Harrison said. "They get a probation violation, get a little bit of time in jail and get back out only to start all over again."

    There are currently 8 people who must appear before a judge twice a month for check ins.

    Since this drug court began in March 2017, 31 people have been screened for participation.

    Of those screened 20 were accepted and 11 were denied.

    During the course of the program, 11 people have been removed from Drug Court for various reasons, and one voluntarily withdrew.

    "People are going to have problems, they are going to relapse and working with them through that towards better habits for life to help achieve sobriety," Harrison said.

    Harrison says there has been an increase in the number of cases involving possession and use of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl, and hopes this drug court will help reduce that.

    Although the number of program participants is low she says each person in the program is taking an important step in their journey towards recovery.

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