Drug court sends message we can all appreciate
There was a small graduation last week, with only a handful of graduates compared to the hundreds from the various high schools recently.
There were five of them, all from various walks of life. Each was unique except for one common denominator. They were all drug addicts. We say “were” because they have moved on from the past that nearly destroyed them and their families. Some lost custody of children, others jobs. All lost respect, a sense of worth.
Each was sentenced and each given a second chance. Instead of being locked up, they were allowed to join the Coweta County Adult Drug Court program. It’s not easy to even get in. They must get approval from the sheriff’s office, judges and the court system to even be eligible. And then they undergo a rigorous program that can last years. Mandatory random drug testing and counseling programs are required.
And they have to make amends - to give back to the community through some type of project. Those can range from food drives for local food banks to getting sponsors to hold a 5K run.
Drug courts are becoming more common, and we applaud that. Nothing is served simply by keeping a drug addict in prison. There needs to be a another way to help combat addiction. Hence the drug courts.
And so the five graduated from the Coweta drug court - the largest graduation in the program’s history. Each won their battle. We would like to say something positive and uplifting, about how proud they stood and fought the fight. A word of wisdom, so to speak. Judge Joe Wyant, who oversees the drug court, did that for us.
“All of you have made significant changes in your life ... Everything that you have ever accomplished in your life is the result of taking action. You have a choice. You can either be a passive victim of your own circumstance or you can be the active hero of your own life.
“Action is the antidote to apathy and despair. You will inevitably make mistakes. That’s okay, we all do.”
And to the graduates, we salute you. And to those individuals, governmental and court entities who run the program and support it financially, we say thank you. You are changing lives for the better. You provide hope. And often, that is all that is needed.