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Corpus Christi drug courts offer the help addicts need

Drug addiction is a serious issue both here in Texas and elsewhere in the United States. One of the reasons it's so problematic is because the courts tend to focus more on the criminal aspect of drug abuse rather than the human element of addiction. The latter often involves families being torn apart as defendants spend an extended time inside of the prison system.

Nueces County has created a Family Drug Treatment Court in recent years. It aims to keep families together and to get defendants the substance abuse help that they so desperately need.

Half the cases that the Texas Child Protection Services (CPS) deals with here involve some type of substance abuse. There were more than 11,000 Texas children that were removed from their homes due to their parents' drug addictions in 2018. The county agencies and courts must work together to keep children out of the system.

Drug courts allow defendants to participate in drug treatment programs to try and kick their addiction instead of being locked up. But Texas only has 13 family treatment drug courts. The goal of these courts is to help parents suffering from substance abuse to be able to take care of their children without the need for further state intervention.

The parents that end up in drug courts are often the same individuals that had similar problems as juveniles. Many of them are given one last chance to turn their lives around in adult drug court. They could wind up becoming part of the prison system if they can't kick their habit this time around. Their children will be removed from their homes if this happens. And the drug dependency cycle continues for another generation.

If you're a parent that's been charged with drug possession, there may be a program that can help keep you out prison and leave your family intact. Each Corpus Christi case is different. Both your defense attorney and the court will have to look at the unique circumstances of your case to determine if you qualify for this program. This may be your only hope when your arrest threatens your freedoms and future.

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