New court can help heal families

Mason County is about to join 14 others counties in the state, including Thurston County, with a family drug court designed to repair families damaged by substance abuse and chemical dependency.

The court will convene in April, funded by a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax approved by the Mason County commissioners last year to improve mental health and chemical dependency programs and services in the county.

The family drug court model has proven successful in other counties, and should be a welcome addition to the Mason County court system, too.

The main purpose of a family drug court is to keep families together during difficult times involving substance abuse by one or more family members. It’s hard work for participants, but well worth it in the long run.

Maintaining ties to family members can be a powerful antidote in the battle against drug addiction. The court provides a forum for families to heal and break the damaging cycle of drug abuse.

The new tax is expected to generate about $528,000 per year while the family drug court is budgeted at about $129,000 per year. That means other innovative programs and services are possible in the future, perhaps including a drug court that targets veterans.