In Bedford County, folks are taking a stand against the drug epidemic facing their community and working towards finding solutions.
The District Attorney in Bedford County said drug addiction continues to cause issues in the area.
Lesley Childers-Potts said the court has seen an increase in cases that relate in some way to drug use or drug addiction.
She said that family members of those facing drug-related charges call her and say they want their loved one in jail, so that person can accept the fact that they need help.
“I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone in Bedford county that drug use is on the rise and has been for quite some time,” Bedford District Attorney Lesley Childers-Potts said.
According to the DA, about 50 percent of cases she sees on a weekly basis relate to a drug addiction in some way. She said it’s not just possession of illegal substances, but DUIs, theft, even forgery.
“Some families are heavily involved. We get telephone calls from the moms or the dads of the people that are involved in the criminal justice system because they’re hoping that we’ll give them some sort of break because it’s an addiction problem. They wouldn’t necessary be someone who’d be stealing from other people, but because of their addiction, this is the situation that they are in, ” Childers-Potts said.
As for steps that families and friends of those struggling with an addiction, Childers-Potts advised everyone to have that difficult conversation, and remind them that they are loved and cared for.
“The people who are suffering from this need to know that there are people in their family, there are people in the community that do care about what happens to them,” Childers-Potts said.
The District Attorney along with other officials and locals in Bedford are working towards a day treatment center for those struggling with addiction.
In the meantime, there are many local organizations in the area that help and support those addicted and their families through recovery.