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SOAR Graduates Overcome Substance Use to Strengthen Families and Communities


“I was not ready to get clean. I didn’t really want to,” admits Alicia, whose last name is withheld for privacy. But now she is clean and says the Success Overcoming Addiction through Recovery (SOAR) Family Drug Treatment Court was a catalyst and provided the support she needed to make it happen. “I’m very grateful. Y’all have seen me at my very lowest, and when I gave up on myself y’all didn’t give up on me. You held my hand and pulled me in,” said Alicia at her SOAR graduation ceremony on Nov. 16.

The goal of SOAR Court is to provide resources and support for those with substance use disorders who are at-risk or have lost custody of their children. “SOAR Court is a court-supervised, intensive case management program for parents and guardians with Child Protective Services juvenile court cases,” explains SOAR Court Coordinator Beth Ivey-Craig. “SOAR Court provides support for treatment, housing, employment, and education to help parents to work on sobriety and ultimately help with wellness for themselves and their children.”  Buncombe County Social Worker Craig Adams states, “In this era of a nationwide drug epidemic, the importance of local community programs like SOAR Court to the health and recovery of families involved with Child Protective Services (CPS) cannot be overestimated. As a CPS worker, I’ve seen firsthand how our community’s SOAR Court program helps parents access the treatment they need to get and stay healthy and well. This opportunity to experience recovery allows them become the parents that they want to be, that their kids so dearly deserve.”

Alicia testifies to the initiative’s efficacy. “I would suggest to anyone that if you want to get and stay clean, this is the place to be. I am forever grateful for that,” she says.

Buncombe County’s SOAR Family Drug Treatment Court has been operational since November 2005. Presiding District Court Judge Patricia K. Young says, “Treatment courts across the country have been successful for over twenty years, effectively changing the lives of individuals and families dealing with substance use and addiction. The goals of SOAR Court are to provide safe, nurturing, and permanent homes for children while simultaneously providing parents the necessary support and services to become drug and alcohol abstinent. Family treatment courts aid parents in regaining control of their lives and promote long term, stabilized recovery to enhance the possibility of family reunification within mandatory legal timeframes.”

As Alicia completes SOAR Court, she offers a message of hope to anyone battling substance use disorders. “You can pretty much do anything. I always thought I wouldn’t be the one to get clean, that it will never happen. But SOAR encouraged me that I can do whatever I want to do when I put my mind to it.”

SOAR COURT

Pictured above from left to right: District Court Judge Patricia K. Young, SOAR Court graduate Alicia, and SOAR Court Coordinator Beth Ivey-Craig.

SOAR Court eligibility and contact information

To be eligible for the SOAR Court program, the parent or guardian must:

  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Reside in Buncombe County.
  • Have an issue with substance misuse.
  • Have an active investigation or juvenile case with HHS.
  • Understand and be willing to comply with SOAR Court requirements.
  • Be able to complete an intake to determine eligibility.
  • Be able to participate in schedules appointments.

For more information read this brochure or contact Beth Ivey-Craig at (828) 250-6415 or Beth.Ivey-Craig@buncombecounty.org.