Drug-ravaged West Virginia has opened its first family treatment court aimed at protecting children while helping parents facing the loss of custody to overcome substance abuse disorders.
The court's debut at the Boone County Courthouse in Madison was celebrated Monday. Family treatment courts also will open in Ohio and Randolph counties.
Boone County Circuit Judge William Thompson is heavily involved in helping people addicted to drugs turn their lives around. He's involved in a court for adult drug offenders and envisioned the idea of a family treatment court a decade ago. He says the new court's services are aimed at keeping more families together.
In a state of 1.8 million residents, more than 30,000 people are in drug treatment in West Virginia, which has by far the nation's highest drug overdose death rate.