People with substance use problems hit their bottom in many different ways, some more than once. For Bob, it came seven years after the love of his life divorced him and he lost his multimillion dollar cellular company, his home and his cars. Although extremely successful in a new job, Bob’s recent self described “partying” caused him to reach his bottom when he got two DUIs and a felony drug arrest in one year. Bob was scared – scared to loose his job, scared of disappointing his family and scared of jail. He knew he needed help for his addictions and was ready to begin a new life.
David Lawrence Center’s Drug Court Program diverts offenders with substance use and drug related criminal activity from overcrowded, taxed jails by offering them an opportunity to deal with their dependence rather than face punitive alternatives. This more effective form of treatment combines a year worth of mandatory drug testing, group therapy, case management, regular participation at Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and routine probationary and judicial reviews. For Bob, Drug Court was his opportunity for a second chance and a new beginning.
“Being faced with a felony was a very big deal for me as a young, successful salesman trying to get back into the business world. Drug Court gave me hope. It gave me my life back,” Bob shares. He attributes much of his success to being required to get a sponsor and being accountable for working the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). In group, he shared how each step was changing his life and benefited from hearing how sobriety was working for others.
The education Bob received helped him learn more about himself and his disease. He says, “I had to be honest with myself about what I had done in the last 21 years. That was hard and my heart was exposed. With prayer, my sponsor and my clinician, I had a place to talk about my emotions.” Meeting regularly with his probation officer and the judge, served as a constant reminder of the choices he had – to keep using and become a career criminal or stay sober and work his way out of the legal system.
Today, Bob sees getting his record expunged as a reward for maintaining his sobriety and doing what he needed to do to get his life back in order. He now sponsors other people in the Drug Court program and enjoys helping others in recovery find real success.