Today, to celebrate National Drug Court Month, I had the honor of speaking at the 13th Recognition Ceremony for the District of Columbia Superior Court Family Treatment Court to recognize eleven Family Treatment Court participants moving to the next phase of their recovery. The DC Family Treatment Court is a 15-month court-supervised, voluntary, comprehensive substance abuse treatment program for mothers or female guardians whose children are the subject of a child neglect case. More than 150 women have successfully completed the program and reunited with their children.
Today I was inspired as I heard firsthand each woman’s story of courage and perseverance. One graduate thanked the court for “teaching her how to live again.” Another said “I’m really happy with the woman I’ve become—a good mother, a loving, kind, patient, trustworthy friend and sister…Now I know why I’m here.” These women are living proof that we are not powerless over substance use disorders and that recovery is possible.
Drug courts, now entering their third decade in the United States, are a proven solution for halting the course of substance use disorders and remain a critical part of the Obama Administration’s “Third Way” drug policy. There are now more than 2,600 drug courts across the nation, reaching 120,000 individuals annually. By promoting models like family drug courts, family-based treatment, and family-centered reentry programs, we can help families stay together and get better, together.
Again, congratulations to the DC Family Treatment Court honorees.