WILMINGTON — The You-Turn drug court graduation Friday was held the same week a hopeful study was reported on the chances to overcome addictions, especially given time and treatment. The seven latest You-Turn graduates embody that potential for recovery.
All of which made it more poignant when Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck who presides over drug court said although local resources against addiction have grown since the drug court started in 2014-15, there remains a need for more mental health services locally.
Rudduck said when the drug court started, he thinks there was one professional, third-party program with which to collaborate, and people knew more resources were needed.
“The number of certified treatment providers we have has grown; we have recovery housing; we have medicated-assisted treatment now. The mental health component that we were lacking so much is still lacking. We need more of it,” Rudduck said at the graduation ceremony in Wilmington Dove Church.
The day before on National Public Radio a report stated a national study published by a team at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital shows roughly 75 percent of people with addiction get better.
Most people with addiction do survive and recover, especially when they get quality treatment, summarized the report.
The You-Turn Recovery Docket programming encompasses 18 months, meaning these new graduates were taking part in the midst of the pandemic, noted Rudduck.
“For them to have persevered through this program, especially during this pandemic, is amazing,” he said.
You-Turn Recovery Docket Case Manager Jessica Harrington has filled the case manager role for about two years. Thus she’s been with these drug court participants from the beginning of their involvement.
She has come to know them well, such that on any given day she can spot a change in their usual energy level.
Prior to recognizing the graduates individually, Harrington stated each of the seven seated on the church stage has in their life story a “blow-your-mind trauma, loss, hurt, pain.”
After making a reference to the label “drug addict” which can de-humanize, Harrington spoke more loudly and declared they are people.
She also remarked about how when she tries to do away with sugar from her diet, she thinks of people with addictions.
“If I can’t say ‘no’ to a cookie or a doughnut, how in the world do you expect them to say ‘no’ so easily to a compound that has such a stronghold on their brain — that they’re so dependent on to cope?” said Harrington.
Creating healthy coping skills is something the You-Turn recovery programming aims to do.
“We all have to have them,” she said.
During the ceremony, Rudduck awarded a You-Turn Hall of Fame medallion to Jeff Rhein, who the judge described as a behind-the-scenes person who’s been instrumental in keeping drug court going. Rhein, who works with Mental Health Recovery Board, was on the steering committee that was required for the Ohio Supreme Court to certify You-Turn.
Rhein has helped in terms of training, treatment programming, and grants, said Rudduck.
Guest speaker Deontrae Ellis, who works with The Coach program, has been a central figure in a number of people’s lives in the drug court, Rudduck said.
The judge described The Coach as a program that has residential programming; provides transportation; provides vocational training; provides mental health service; and provides substance abuse treatment.
Ellis complimented the You-Turn Recovery Docket drug court in Clinton County, mentioning the judge and the Clinton County Adult Supervision staff, as by far the best drug court he’s ever collaborated with.
“I have never seen a court system that is so assertive in trying to help people change their lives,” said Ellis.
He told the story of one of his clients who had a very troubled life.
The speaker concluded his talk with, “How sweet it would be if we could ever create a community or a society where instead of treating people’s addictions, we teach them how to heal from their suffering.”
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.