96% of the criminal cases that come through the Marshall/Calloway Circuit Court are drug-related. Courts are the most common place for SUD sufferers to come to face their addiction, leaving Judges, who have no medical or behavioral training, without the necessary resources to address the problem.
Many things impact whether a person will develop SUD. Genetics, childhood or adult physical or psychological trauma (often sexual or physical abuse/abandonment), and mental health conditions all play a role in determining how at risk someone is to be diagnosed with SUD. Approximately 50% of your likelihood to fall to addiction is based on your genetic profile, something you can't change or control.
A basic principle of psychology is that all of our desires are born from our brain's demand that we do two things: find "pleasure" and avoid "pain." The concepts of pain and pleasure in this context include far more than what we would typically think of as pain or pleasure. E.g., if someone gives their spouse a birthday gift, psychologists would tell you that this behavior was motivated by the desire for the pleasure of a positive response from the spouse, and/or by a desire to avoid the pain of the spouse believing you forgot their birthday! Addiction is the perfect (really horrible) antidote for these desires. Impairing substances trigger the same reward sections of the brain that are triggered during any pleasurable experience and often take away physical and/or psychological pain the individual is experiencing due to an injury, trauma, or one or more mental health diagnoses. One shot in the arm, and the user can feel like they can do anything (for a short period) or totally relax and cause their extreme depression or anxiety to temporarily be alleviated. No pain, all pleasure, in the short term. The problem is, among other things, this "euphoria" cannot be sustained long term, thus requiring higher and higher doses to receive the same effect as they did the first time they used.
Many of the people suffering with SUD that come through the Marshall/Calloway courts do not have significant criminal records beyond drug-related crimes. Ten years ago, it was almost unheard of for an individual with a college degree to face drug charges in circuit court. Today, almost every Circuit Court docket has at least one college graduate who has fallen to addiction and committed a felony. Nurses, doctors, attorneys, and many other professionals that suffer with SUD have committed crimes as a result, such as DUI, Wanton Endangerment, and most often, thefts to feed their addiction.
Parents and grandparents often fall victim to the manipulation of their addicted love one. Someone with a strong addiction (which is most) will give up everything for the next high. Those with severe addiction will often continue their addictive behavior even though they know it will cost them their job, their marriage, their children, and likely result in significant time in jail. SUD sufferers have extreme tunnel vision such that the only thing on their mind is how to get their next high. These individuals are often masters of manipulation. They commonly lie and use guilt to manipulate loved ones into feeding their addiction, often unknowingly.
Very, very few people with SUD seek sufficient treatment on their own. This is why the courts are often the place where reality sinks in. Especially for persons who have never been incarcerated before, being in jail often motivates them to be agreeable to treatment. But, often courts do not have immediate access to quality, sufficient treatment. Kentucky does not currently have the funds to sufficiently take on SUD or mental health treatment for its citizens. The problem is too widespread. We are the solution. The task can seem insurmountable, but many hands make for light work. Contact us and learn how your "hands" can help!