Four people are getting a second chance after graduating from Drug Rehabilitation Court last week.
Three men and one woman with histories of drug abuse were awarded certificates and trophies for completing the program, now in its seventh year.
To graduate, offenders must meet certain requirements, including six months of sobriety from illicit drugs, full-time employment, voluntary service and completion of all court mandated treatment.
Magistrate Valdis Foldats, who led the ceremony on Thursday, congratulated the graduates and shed some light on their individual journeys over the years.
Despite having to go through a series of hurdles, one graduate stuck with the program, completing it in three-and-a-half years. “She may just be the person who has been in the drug court the longest…,” said Mr. Foldats.
Another person, who was attending Drug Court graduation for the second time, had been caught in the drug addiction cycle for more than 20 years.
“…He participated eagerly, he expressed a strong desire to stop the cycle of drug use, stealing and prison that had plagued him for over 20 years. He deeply regrets his lost years as an addict,” Mr. Foldats said on behalf the counselor who was working with him.
The third graduate had been on a downhill battle with marijuana and cocaine since his early 20s, and as a result, was a repeat offender.
“He expressed many regrets about the direction his life went in and admits that sometimes it is the same regrets that keep him using drugs. It’s the cycle,” said Mr. Foldats. “It has been wonderful to see his journey as well. We all have seen a remarkable transformation.”
The fourth graduate thanked the drug court team, which includes counselors, probation officers, social workers and others.
“I couldn’t do it without you guys; you guys were really encouraging. You helped me every step of the way,” he said.
Before closing the ceremony, Mr. Foldats thanked some of the previous drug court graduates in the room who came to support this year’s graduates.