Buncombe County’s Sobriety Court team is getting recognition for its innovative work helping people with addiction move to a path of recovery. Founded in 2013, the court serves a dynamic and diverse population, providing an opportunity for those struggling with substance use disorder to participate in a therapeutic, evidence-based program that uses best practices, trauma-informed care, cultural competency, and gender-specific dockets.
Buncombe County Sobriety Court is being recognized by the National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC) as an Academy Court. Per the NCDC website, "NCDC's Academy Court Network identifies exemplary DWI courts to host foundational trainings, receive staff from other jurisdictions for site visits, play a significant role in participating in research and media, and serve as a national model for DWI courts. The designation honors a culmination of years of training and implementing changes and ideas from past Sobriety Court participants over the past nine years to develop policies and procedures that adhere to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) Best Practice Standards for Treatment Courts.”
Sobriety Court Graduate and Peer Support Specialist Maia Hughes shares her experience, “My pathway in treatment court saved my life. I can say that it was the first time that someone was coming at me from a place of love. Compassion and meeting people where they are is very important, and I wouldn’t be here without treatment court. The accountability without harshness was something I had not experienced. I’ve been able to turn my life around and use my experience to show others that there is a path to hope.”
This is the first Academy Court designation for the Buncombe County Sobriety Court. The Academy Court Network was developed in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Sobriety Court is being highlighted as a DWI Court that exemplifies the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Best Practice Standards and will be used as a learning site for other DWI Courts nationally.
Presiding Judge Julie M. Kepple has been an integral part of the program since its inception and notes the success of the program is due to the dedicated professionals who make up the team, as well as the strong community support and recovery resources of the area. “Our court team is committed to learning and continually improving processes and practices, and we like to have fun while doing so. Asheville has a thriving recovery community with a wealth of mental health and substance use resources available. We are fortunate to work collaboratively with supportive community partners to create an individualized program using local resources.”
Division Director of the National Center for DWI Courts recently presented staff with the award. “Buncombe County has a reputation nationwide that is well-deserved and well earned. This team understands the struggle that people with addiction go through every day, and they understand what it takes to move those people to a place where they can succeed.”
To learn more about Sobriety Court/DWI, click here. If you are seeking recovery and have a pending DWI, please call (828) 250-4463 for more information.