WILMINGTON — The guest speaker for the You-Turn Recovery Docket graduation ceremony brought up a puzzle: Why do many people with drug or alcohol problems “put up walls” toward others, even those trying to help them?
Edward T. Lacy said at least part of the answer is that addicted people don’t want others “to get in” and “look around inside.”
They are afraid it’s not going to be a pretty picture when another person, including helpers, look around inside.
Lacy, a Wilmington High School graduate with more than 35 years experience in the mental health field, was speaking to about 160 people at the First Christian Church, including the seven new graduates of the local drug court and its minimum 18-month program.
In his career, Lacy has seen patients stop one substance abuse only to pick up another one.
“Something has got to fill that hole inside of us,” said Lacy.
He said it is sad that many times addicts and alcoholics are looked on as “like the black sheep of the family, and sort of pushed aside.”
The speaker, who has both national and international experience, remarked that people who are addicted didn’t start out by thinking ‘I want to be the best addict you ever saw; I’m going to shoot up better than anybody.’
“Nobody talks like that,” he said.
Noting the tens of thousands of people who have died from drug overdoses in recent years, Lacy recommended that the You-Turn Recovery Docket graduates be seen as “walking miracles.”
He suggested people in the community stretch out their hands to people in recovery and also obtain their phone numbers. Likewise, he suggested that those in recovery “share your phone numbers with people here.”
There will come a night, said Lacy, cold and dreary like the night of the event, when the person in recovery will be inside their house and their mind “will go places, to the dark side of the moon so to speak.”
The phone will be a valuable tool then, if the person makes a call. He added they don’t really have to say much other than “Help.”
In opening comments, Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck reminded the audience that in 2017, 30 people in Clinton County lost their lives from an overdose “despite all the publicity that’s going on.”
The new graduates of the You-Turn Recovery Docket are Chris Fisher, Ricky Johnson, Bruce Bennett, Tommy Grimes, Donna Lancen, Crystal Hamm and Erica Johnson.
Recognition also was accorded to supporters of the specialized drug docket. Rudduck said the court is finally able to award a plaque to a local employer that has stepped up to hire people in recovery.
“Jobs are so important, and it’s hard for people in drug court or who have a felony record to get that door open,” the judge said. “And now we have a great working program with Ahresty.”
When he asked how many in the church audience are working at Ahresty, several hands went up.
Brian Mudd was recognized for his support as a volunteer. He gave a presentation at a status hearing where drug court participants assemble monthly or twice-monthly for a public session with Rudduck.
The judge said Mudd, who has undergone surgery to remove a tumor in the brain, has been going around the community, giving words of encouragement. At a You-Turn Recovery Docket session, Mudd spoke about changing the channel.
Rudduck said, “We just love him and what he’s doing in our community as he’s fighting his own personal battle.”
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), located on Columbus Street and host of the Thursday evening celebration, received a plaque and was recognized as a church that has been with the specialized drug docket recovery program from the beginning.
The church has provided support financially and in prayer, said the judge.
The public is encouraged to come to the drug court sessions and be supportive. They are held on the third floor of the Clinton County Courthouse in the common pleas courtroom on the first and third Fridays of every month, starting at 1:30 p.m.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.