New program helping drug court participants transition into the real world

Published: May. 22, 2019 at 6:56 PM EDT
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A pilot program in Bourbon County is helping those with substance use disorders ease into the real world.

The program is called "Beyond" and focuses on those that are going through drug court in the county. Toward the end of their time in drug court, the participants have the option of taking life skills at the extension office to learn how to live on their own and take care of themselves. Things like cooking and how to do finances are areas of study at the extension office.

Kay Dennison heads up the Beyond program in Bourbon County. She was a teacher in the county for 30 years. Now, she sees some of the same students she taught in school, going through the Beyond program.

"I think they see that I care, number one. Number two, it is what I taught. I'm going to teach life skills and they know that," Dennison said.

"I was like, 'Yeah, let's do it,'" recalls Bourbon County Circuit Court Judge Brian Privett. Privett runs the drug court. He realized early on the need for a slow and steady transition back into society.

"The extension office is a great fit for them because we're already teaching financial stability. We're teaching parenting, nurturing families. That's what we do all the time for everybody," Dennison said. "Sometimes we get locked into thinking things about ourselves that we can't do, but we really can."

There are only a handful of participants, but they are hoping to grow their numbers over time.

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