Miller said Prestera does not give out methadone, which has a good success rate but high recidivism, which is a relapse into illegal behavior. However, several Prestera clinics prescribe Suboxone, which has a varied success rate and low recidivism, she said.
The panel agreed that jailing or imprisoning drug addicts fuels the epidemic and does not help anyone kick their drug habits. Sizemore said she was once locked up in the Southern Regional Jail with one of the women featured in the film.
"Jail did nothing for me. Yes, I deserved to be there; I will take ownership of that," Sizemore said. "But the only thing jail did was help me get better connections when I got out."
Benjamin touted the success of drug courts, which will become standard in all 55 counties by 2017. There are currently 30 counties with drug courts, he said. About 500 people have graduated from the program.
Benjamin said the program is working but could be better. He hopes expanding the drug courts to all 55 counties increases the graduation rate.
For adult drug courts, the recidivism rate is at a low 14 percent, Benjamin said. If those people had gone to jail over treatment, their chances of going back to drugs would increase to about 80 percent, he said. Juvenile drug courts have a high graduation rate and a high recidivism rate, Benjamin said, but the recidivism rate is lower than the national average.
"The best thing about being a judge is holding a drug-free baby born from a woman who was addicted to narcotics and completed the drug court program," Benjamin said.
The panel members said the film opened a dialogue they hope will continue into activism.
"You've seen the film," Miller said. "You can't hide anymore. We have to get these people help. We have to get them into recovery."
Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.