KENTUCKY — September is National Recovery Month, a time to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders, and celebrate the individuals living in recovery.

Kentucky Drug Court operates as part of the Department of Specialty Courts at the Administrative Office of the Courts, the administrative arm of the state court system, of the Courts, which pays for treatment, drug testing and case management. There is no cost to participants. 

During this segment, Elizabeth Nichols, a manager in Kentucky’s Department of Specialty Courts, explains how the Specialty Courts give participants the tools and support to overcome obstacles to recovery and change their lives.

“Specialty courts encompasses three different tracks. We have drug court, veteran’s treatment court and mental health court here in the state of Kentucky. And so we serve approximately around 2500 participants every year, and they come into our program for a minimum of 18 months. We have a multidisciplinary team that encompasses the judge being the leader, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement and treatment staff that look at each individual and make a case plan and treatment plan for them,” said Nichols.

These programs offer substantial benefits to individuals and communities by reducing recidivism, cutting incarceration costs, decreasing medical costs, and improving child support and tax revenue as participants gain employment. In addition, the devastating cycle of generational criminal behavior and addiction is broken as participants become healthy, productive members of their communities.

You can watch the full In Focus Kentucky segment in the player above.