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Martin Sheen wants help for first-time drug users

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Martin Sheen wants first-time drug offenders to have a chance at getting help.

Sheen, whose actor son, Charlie Sheen, has a history of drug problems, helped open a court in Compton, Calif., that is designed to help first-time offenders."Substance abuse costs our nation dearly in death, crime, incarceration, destruction of families and neighborhoods," the elder Sheen said Wednesday. "Let's make sure that everybody, rich or poor . . . has an opportunity to be healed rather than punished."

Drug courts are aimed at helping first-time offenders, who usually must undergo counseling, detoxification and other programs. Defendants also get help finding work through the courts, which bring together law enforcement and treatment agencies.