Dec. 25, 2013 — Last week Drug Court added seven more lives, seven more families changed for the better, as a result of its list of graduates.
A total of 29 persons have completed the program from Carter, Elliott and Morgan counties since the spring of 2007. Carter is home to 24 of the graduates.
“It's impressive because we know how hard they have had to work to get to this point and we had a lot of individuals come in with this class,” said Circuit Judge Rebecca Phillips. “Not all of those individuals have made it through so it is impressive to see seven actually make it to the very end.”
Graduation is no easy accomplishment. The program takes a minimum of 18 months to complete. The first month is the first phase, eight to 12 months is the second phase and the third phase is anywhere from three to six months.
“It just depends on how well someone does as to how quickly they progress through the program,” Phillips said.
When someone begins the program they are required to complete three educational group sessions with the drug court staff. Each week they have one individual session with drug court staff, attend Drug Court once a week in front of Judge Phillips and attend three self-help meetings per week with the program of their choice.
Locally, those include Lifeline, NA, AA or Celebrate Recovery. The individual also submits to drug testing at least three times per week.
Drug Court participants have an 8 p.m. curfew, and must be working, going to school or participating in community service.
“Even the individuals that didn't make it all the way through, something has been said or something they have learned kicks in,” Phillips said. “We have success stories from people who don’t necessarily finish the program but ultimately they go on to do very well so we are proud of those individuals as well.”