Rich's Reflection on the Week Ending June 5th

This week was all about addiction and mental health issues. I find that in the practice of law, you deal with a lot of people who have addictions to drug and alcohol and who also have mental health problems. Luckily, we have programs in the court system that help them.

For example, this week I had 2 clients who had multiple DUIs, who elected to go into the DUI Court in the Anne Arundel County District Court. Unfortunately, one of my clients had to be detoxed before they could get into the program. The other client has tried, many different ways, to get sober and has been unsuccessful so far.

The good news about the Anne Arundel County DUI Court and the Anne Arundel County Drug Court is that unlike regular probation, which has a relapse rate of approximately 65%, those who enter into and complete DUI Court and/or Drug Court have only a 7% relapse rate. I have to say, that is extremely impressive.

Additionally, I represented a client who uses marijuana as a medication to help with their psychological issues and it they claim that it keeps them from having to take 5 alternative medications. I have known this client for a long time and I am beginning to believe that their claims are true. Unfortunately for this client, marijuana is not legal in Maryland.

I think the theme of this past week is that we as attorneys, especially in the type of work I do, deal with mental health and addiction issues on a regular and repeated basis. Therefore, as I have done, it is necessary to obtain training with those issues in order to represent clients effectively. One of the best aspects of my job is being able to help those individuals who do have mental health or addiction problems to get better and allow them to live a happy and productive life. A week like this past week makes me believe I can truly make a difference in people's lives.

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