Drug court has been a gateway for many people struggling with drug addiction. Sharon and Wes Sudduth are grateful to drug court for helping to save their daughter Melissa from her drug addiction.
“Addiction is a family disease,” Sharon Sudduth said. “I don’t think we ever thought there was going to be an end.”
In 2009, Melissa chose drug court in Annapolis County, Maryland, instead of an extra eight years in prison for a second-degree burglary conviction. The drug court forced Melissa into rehab for her cocaine and heroin addiction. While Melissa was in the drug court program, she gave birth to her second child. Her parents have custody of her oldest child.
The Annapolis County Circuit Court’s Adult Drug Treatment Court has graduated hundreds of addicts since its inception in 1997. Melissa was one of five recent graduates of the program, which was attended by R. Gil Kerlikowske, the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
“Addiction is a terminal illness. Drugs can kill. They will kill,” said Judge William C. Mulford II, who supervises the Drug Treatment Court.