WILMINGTON – A participant in the You-Turn Recovery Docket has been incarcerated for violating the drug court rules.
Tammy Barney, 42, of Wilmington, was arrested for admitting to doing heroin Aug. 25 in court hearing held Monday.
Barney was originally arrested in November 2012 for possession of heroin in the fifth degree.
At a hearing in January 2013, Barney asked Clinton County Court of Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck for intervention in lieu of incarceration, according to court records.
At a hearing in March 2014, Barney pled guilty to possession of heroin in the fifth degree. She was sentenced to six months of prison with credit for 26 days served. Her prison sentence was suspended to be granted intervention in lieu of conviction, according to court records.
A year later, in March 2015, though, the state of Ohio filed a motion to revoke community control, Rudduck said.
The motion to revoke community control was filed because the state alleged Barney again used heroin, which violates the community control.
“The defendant … admitted to a probation officer that a positive drug screen for opiates was valid,” Rudduck said.
In May, a resolution hearing set for Barney, which is when she was accepted into the You-Turn program.
“She had shown an indication that she could comply with directives to stay sober and stay away from drugs,” Rudduck said. “(She) had actually been discharged from the structured counseling program that Solutions offered.”
The last drug court hearing was Aug. 21. At the meeting, Barney said she did not have any triggers to have her return to using drugs.
“She’s got the tools she needs to live a sober lifestyle,” Rudduck said at the hearing.
The only worry that Barney had at the hearing was that stress with everyday life would get to her sooner or later and she would go back to using heroin.
“That’s what you have to overcome — that lifestyle,” Rudduck said.
Rudduck encouraged Barney to talk to him if issues arose and if she had trouble with her journey to stay sober.
“Don’t hesitate to talk to (us) because that’s how we deal with issues,” he said.
The very next day though, Barney allegedly used heroin.
On Aug. 25, a drug test was done and Barney tested positive for opiates. She initially denied using anything illegal and said the test probably was positive because she took cold medicine.
“She finally admitted to using heroin on or about Aug. 22, which is particularly surprising since she was just in this court Aug. 21,” Rudduck said.
This violation is the second of Barney’s, Rudduck said. Her first violation was made during her intervention treatment.
Rudduck said Barney’s case was bizarre though because Barney doesn’t has a criminal history. In 1999 Barney was charged with open container and then in 2012 she was charged with possession of heroin.
“According to (documents) … you never started using drugs until you were 37,” Rudduck said. “Then you were using heroin about every day.”
Barney’s almost non-existent criminal history is the reason the court is trying to work with her, Rudduck said.
“You’re not a hardcore criminal, you’ve got an addiction problem,” he said.
Instead of sentencing Barney Monday afternoon, Rudduck postponed it to Friday during the drug court.
“It is a difficult decision,” he said. “I want you to come in and explain to me why should you be in drug court in front of everybody.”
On Monday Barney said she wishes to stay in drug court because she thinks it is helping. She believes her relapse was because of her mental health medication, which she believes needs to be evaluated.
“It seems like she has periods where the light is shining and she’s doing the things she’s supposed to do and then with bad decision making she flushes it and has to start all over again,” said Rob Baker, Barney’s public defender.
Barney has been involved in the STAR Program’s outpatient program twice. The state said they believe Barney should be entered into the STAR Program’s inpatient program instead of being allowed in the drug court.
“According to what she’s admitted to, she used the day after she met with the drug court,” said Brian Shidaker, prosecuting attorney. “I think putting her right back in drug court would hurt your program.”
The STAR Program, Shidaker said, is the only alternative the state can think of instead of incarceration.
“I thank (the state) for that alternative because I don’t know what else is left,” Rudduck said.
A bed will be opening up in the STAR Program Sept. 16, Shidaker said, and he said the state is looking to keep Barney incarcerated until Sept. 16.
Barney has the chance to be released from jail on Friday though per Barney’s request, Rudduck said.
“If the state’s OK with the STAR program it’s something we will try,” he said.
The You-Turn Recovery Docket will meet Friday at 1:30 p.m.