As discussed in our last article, there are two types, generally, of substance abuse disorder (a/k/a SUD) treatment: inpatient and outpatient. We last discussed the local outpatient programs that were developed in the last few years that maintain approximately 150 clients at any given time, sent to them largely from the court I serve. We also discussed the serious need for a large-scale inpatient SUD treatment facility in our community. Since our last article, a lot has changed.  

On May 20, an event was held in support of The Re-Life Project operated by the 42nd Judicial Circuit Community Corrections Board, Inc., of which, I am president. Many other elected officials are also a part of that board. We had an overwhelming response in support of the project, a project that will bring 2-100 bed SUD treatment facilities to Calloway and/or Marshall counties -  one for women, one for men.  

During the event, former Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher was the main speaker, but other local officials and business owners spoke about the need the project would meet and the damage that is caused by not treating SUD.  Gov. Fletcher is the founder of The Fletcher Group, a nonprofit he formed just after leaving office for the purpose of providing effective long-term SUD treatment in rural areas, not only Kentucky, but across the nation. The Fletcher Group has helped build and begin operations of 14 such facilities, just in Kentucky, with dozens more coast-to-coast. In October 2020, The Fletcher Group adopted The Re-Life Project as their next project and began to bring considerable resources to bear for the benefit of the project.  

By the time the May 20th event was over, The Re-life Project received more than $200,000 in pledges from local businesses and individuals that understand the need for the project to become a reality. However, the total project cost will be approximately seven million dollars, with around $3 million coming through public sources (grants etc). Needless to say, even though fundraising started out with a bang, there is still a large gap between where we are and where we need to be. But we are going to get there!

Once the Re-Life Center is up and running, the first facility (for women) will help approximately 300 women each year become productive citizens, parents, and family members. Once the second facility (for men) is completed, that number will double to 600 each year. This is the path to finally taking a big bite out of this epidemic that has wounded and caused the death of so many of our friends, neighbors and loved ones.  

To find out more about The Re-Life Project, please visit www.re-life.us, where you can contact us and learn more about the Project, the proven results of the treatment model that will be utilized at these facilities, and how you can help literally save lives in your community.

If you or someone you love struggles with addiction, below are two programs that have been integrated into the circuit court I serve: Riverwoods Recover, 270-252-7235; Serenity Recovery, 270-227-2650.  

Until next time, Godspeed.

Jamie Jameson is the Chief Judge for Kentucky’s 42nd Circuit Court which includes Calloway and Marshall counties.  Judge Jameson serves as Purchase Region representative to the Ky. Circuit Judge’s Association Legislative Committee, a member of that Association’s Education Committee, and as member of the Kentucky Judges’ Continuing Judicial Education.