The Roanoke Valley has garnered some attention lately for its drug policy and rehabilitation programs. President Obama’s top drug policy advisor visited the area recently to explore the region’s drug control strategies, and on Friday Senator Tim Kaine attended the region’s Drug Court graduation in Salem.
Roanoke’s rehabilitative Drug Court model was the first in the commonwealth, and 30 similar programs have been implemented across the state since. Senator Tim Kaine says the program, which allows addicts in the area meet every other week, is a proven effective way to rehabilitate users and combat relapses. He offered his praise for the program, and explained why it was important for him to attend last week’s drug court graduation:
"To hear folk’s stories, to see how Roanoke has done – last week the White House rolled out its national Drug Control policy here in the Roanoke Valley – not because the problems are more severe here than elsewhere, but because there are some really good programs here that are making a difference. And I wanted to come and see it myself, hear peoples’ stories, and hopefully take that back to my colleagues."
There is significant work to be done to combat the issue of drug abuse on state and national levels. Kaine says that overdoses now take more lives than automobile accidents – and he maintains that the Drug Court model has proven better than most strategies in addressing addiction and recidivism.