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New push to keep drug addicts with family as they recover

Posted: 11:28 PM, Oct 10, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-11 07:06:11Z

There's a new push to keep drug addicts with their family during the recovery process.

"They're not bad people, they're parents with a bad drug problem," said District Court Judge Frank P. Sullivan.

Many of the parents battling addiction make a stop in Judge Sullivan's Family Treatment Court.

"We want to empower them, and you empower them by maintaining that strong relationship with their children," Sullivan said.

Judge Sullivan says with the current surge of opioid abuse, the system has been overwhelmed and resources are limited.  That's why Judge Sullivan's team applied for and obtained an $874,097 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. 

The cash will go towards more inpatient substance abuse treatment and housing.

13 Action News went inside one such facility - Westcare is a facility that helps women get clean. 

Once they are healthy, they can be reunited with their kids.

"This is my daughter's bed," said April Fairchild.

Fairchild has been at Westcare for 63 days. 

Last year, she lost custody of her kids after a long battle with addiction. Now, she is able to see them on the weekends.

"I think the hardest part is trying to get off the substances," Fairchild said, "and not think ...how much I miss my kids."

Judge Sullivan says the goal is to get the grant money into the system as soon as possible. 

He hopes to have the beds filled within the next month.