Drug Courts Aren't Failing Addicts, Addicts Are Failing Addicts

By jrweaver 05/07/20
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Drug Courts aren’t failing Addicts, Addicts are failing Addicts.

The harsh truth is every participant comes into a drug court program wanting to change, that change can be a temporary fix or a life long fix. We just don’t know it yet. I pleaded into Charleston County Drug Court on 15 November 2017 with the goal of changing my life, I was going to change with this program or I was going to die on the streets. I was what you could call a ‘hardcore’ addict, my life had centered around my addiction for so many years that it was the only way I knew how to live. People misunderstand the truth about addiction, it isn’t a party lifestyle, it’s a never ending 80 hours per week thankless job, there is never enough drugs to escape so we are constantly searching for that next fix. It’s a lonely and miserable life that so many believe can’t be fixed. I racked up countless felonies in pursuit of my next fix and I also learned that jail time was my only ‘release’ from the control of my addiction. Drug court changed that. It wasn’t easy, but it is possible to reprogram our thinking patterns with the right balance of support. I graduated Charleston County in March of 2019, no sanctions, no failed drug tests. The life skills that I learned from my classes opened up doors that I once believed were locked forever. I am now a federal employee @ the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center located in Charleston, SC and approaching my 3rd year of sobriety. I believe that drug courts do work, they do have the power to change lives because I am living proof. Drug courts don’t fail Addicts, Addicts fail Addicts. If a participant refuses to change then they won’t change. If nothing changes then nothing changes.

JR Weaver

Author 'The Addiction Manifesto' 

 

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