Bedford County sees progress after new family drug treatment program begins

Program is intended to keep parents, children who commit drug crimes together

By Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter

BEDFORD, Va. - Bedford County’s Family Drug Treatment Docket Program is well underway, with the first family signing up in November.

A Bedford mother abusing opioid and methamphetamine was at risk of losing her children.

She finished the six-week program last week.

“The mom stayed clean. She herself verbalized that she does better when she has a lot of structure around her,” said Dr. Jennifer Morrow, family specialist and coordinator for Family Drug Treatment Docket.

The program is intended to keep parents and children who commit drug crimes together and out of jail.

Morrow, with family services, said about 90 percent of the families referred to them struggle with meth, opioids or benzodiazepines-- a sedative.

"Parents who have tried to get sober or straight and they have struggled and tried other means, it just hasn’t worked. It’s at the point where they’re concerned their children might be carrying on the next generation. This is kind of the last opportunity,” Morrow said.

Morrow said the families volunteer in the five-phase treatment program.

The first step is the toughest. 

Participants are required to take drug tests three times a week and attend group meetings twice a week.

“It is very intensive initially because they need that support network surrounding them so they can maintain sobriety,” Hope Brown, with family services specialist, said.

While social services celebrates the success of one family being drug-free, it is now preparing to take in another family in the next few weeks.

“Hopefully teach them and give them the tools that they need, necessary so that once they do graduate the program, they won’t have to face this ever again,” Brown said.

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