BLANCHESTER — A problem will not go away until it’s dealt with in a healthy and effective way, the guest speaker told the five newest graduates of the You-Turn Drug Court.
The graduation ceremony was held at the Elevation Community Church in Blanchester. Altogether, 36 people have now completed the drug court program in Clinton County since 2015.
Blanchester-area farmer Roger Winemiller was Thursday night’s guest speaker. He lost a daughter and a son to drug overdoses in March and December 2016.
He told the graduates he found out first-hand a problem doesn’t go away on its own when he kept busy with farming after his daughter died. When harvest was over, it struck him “like a ton of bricks” and he sank into a deep depression because he had not dealt with it, he said.
Winemiller said he’s gotten an education on addiction in the aftermath of his children’s deaths. One thing he’s learned is that it is an addiction, and as such is not something a person can just stop with ease on their own.
His attitude through his children’s addictions were “just stop it,” he said.
Moreover, people don’t want to be a heroin or drug addict or addict of any kind, said Winemiller.
Not including those who get hooked after being prescribed pain-killers following an injury or surgery, Winemiller thinks there’s almost always an underlying issue to drug addiction, often that of the person having been abused.
He said they keep the issue in, and the problem or problems start eating away at them and they go to drugs to self-medicate to help numb the pain.
So he recommends not holding it in, finding someone to talk with, getting help, and dealing with it soon.
The new You-Turn graduates are Travis Creamer, Lacy Earley-Fannin, Mark Fannin, Courtney Hillard, and Jason Hollingsworth. They include a married couple, Lacy and Mark, and Mark said a few words when he was recognized Thursday.
“It’s been a long, nasty road,” Fannin remarked.
To the current drug court participants who were in attendance, he advised they get involved and get connected with others in the recovery community.
He ended on an encouraging note. What’s worked for him, he said, is learning to live a different way, which he described as spiritual.
If they decide to, everyone out there can have this, Fannin added.
Brenda Harris, part of the You-Turn Recovery Docket team, introduced new graduate Jason Hollingsworth. His transformation has been amazing, she said, adding that counting Thursday it was 645 days without substances for him.
Hollingsworth was homeless the first several months of his programming, but stayed with it, Harris said. He helps at Sugartree Ministries in Wilmington.
Earley-Fannin owns and runs a hair salon.
Former You-Turn Recovery Docket Supervision Officer KáShira Myburgh, who now works at The Phoenix Center, was recognized as a recipient of a You-Turn Hall of Fame medallion.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.