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Man Is Addicted To Opiods - Unique Sentence From 'Drug Court' Saves His Life
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Kristi Shinfuku
01.05.18
The Guardian
Source:
The Guardian

The opiod crisis has been presenting a massive problem for many, especially those residing in Abingdon, Washington County, Virginia. Many families had been affected by the ravaging addiction, and many realized that the traditional court process was harming more than helping those that were suffering.

Rebecca Holmes, the medical director of Highlands Community Services, decided she needed to work to change the very core of the legal process to help improve her town when so many failed to get better with their current system.


The Guardian
Source:
The Guardian

With a federal grant in tow, the town has moved to a program modeled after a federal model of drug court. Slated to work over a year and a half, combining therapy with court visits, drug screens, curfews, and full-time employment.

Judge Lowe, who presides over the program, explained about the nature of the program:

“The point of drug court is not just to treat the addict, it’s to make that person a model for the rest of their family so that they can break the cycle of drug abuse.”

For one young participant of the program, Bubba Rouse, the problems began early.

He started with pills before moving to meth and heroin at 17 and used regularly with his girlfriend Ginger, whose father also regularly used meth. It was also at that time Ginger became pregnant.

Ginger explained further about what prompted her to get clean- “The reason I stopped using was because I knew I had a future coming with my baby and I didn’t want to bring a child into a world like the one I grew up in.”


The Guardian
Source:
The Guardian

While pregnant, Bubba was in prison and offered a chance to join the drug program. While challenging, Bubba has stuck closely to the program, maintaining a full-time job at a factory with his girlfriend before moving to a construction crew job and then to the service industry. While he cannot drive, Ginger has made it a point to be a chauffeur and workmate with him every step of the way.

On his decision to get clean, he explained further- “I knew I had a future coming with my baby and I didn’t want to bring a child into a world like the one I grew up in Ginger.”

Ginger and Bubba have now started paying off a double wide trailer next to Bubba’s parent’s home. After his program finishes, Bubba plans to work in construction with Ginger’s stepfather.”

Finally, Bubba concludes, “Drug court has been good for me but there are not many programs in this area and I wish there were more things to help people quit early rather than when things get really bad.”

We as a society tend to have a skewed image about what it means to be a drug addict in this society, but for those affected in one way or another by drugs prove that the battle is far from simple. We can only hope that Bubba and his family keep continuing with their recovery, and we hope that more programs in more areas help those in need across the globe.


The Guardian
Source:
The Guardian

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By Kristi Shinfuku
[email protected]
Kristi Shinfuku is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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