Recovering Drug Addicts Share Their Stories Of Addiction - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/15/04

Recovering Drug Addicts Share Their Stories Of Addiction

They were given a choice. They could go to jail, or get treatment for their drug and alcohol problems. About two dozen George and Greene County addicts chose to turn their lives around through Drug Court.

Drug Court helps rehabilitate people who have pleaded guilty to non-violent drug related crimes other than dealing.

Alicia is the newest member. On her first day of drug court, she was nervous but ready to change.

"Because I know if I don't I'm going to prison or to the graveyard," she said.

Alicia's first day was also Belinda 365th.

A year after starting the program, she's celebrating kicking a drug habit she was once determined to keep.

"I entered the system thinking I was going to beat the system." said Belinda. "It's been a bumpy road. Today, I can honestly say I'm clean and sober and I've got a different attitude."

Judge Kathy King Jackson spends her Thursdays listening to people once addicted to everything from marijuana to prescription pills. They talk about their families, jobs and coping with the ups and downs of life without turning back to drugs.

Lisa was arrested for possession of Marijuana in 2001. She describes it as the worst, and best, day of her life.

"Having a clean and sober life is much more fun. I wouldn't trade my worst day sober for my best day high. I wouldn't trade it for nothing."

"I didn't realize how bad I had gotten," said Idice, another recovering addict. " You know, I look back now and think about some of the things that I did back then and I can't believe it was me doing it."

The recovering addicts, some of whom admitted using since elementary school, say they hope sharing their stories will inspire someone else to get sober.

Andy's drug of choice was methamphetamine.

"With the help of this program, it's pretty much forced me to quit or go to jail. It's wonderful because I probably could not have quit on my own, truth be known."

Participants must work, do community service and take drug tests. Jackson County supervisors are hoping to bring the program to their county. They have formed a committee to find the money needed to establish a drug court.

by Danielle Thomas

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