By all accounts the Dawson County Treatment Court is a huge success. However, no one should be misled to think that the Drug Court is easy for the participants.
The requirements are stringent, there is no tolerance for noncompliance, all personal search rights are waived, and if the participant fails to meet the criteria and is removed from the program, they face full sentencing for the original drug charges.
Basically, the participants are given a chance to recover from addiction by entering the two-year program that consists of daily early morning calls for random drug testing, 9 p.m. curfews for phase one, counseling, mandatory meetings, community service and twice monthly accountability meetings with [Superior Court] Judge Jason Deal.
Why should we as a community care about this program? Besides the obvious compassion of helping a person heal of addiction, the community benefits by adding a productive citizen and removing all that is associated with drug addiction - one person at a time.
Can anyone put a price on the benefit of a baby born to drug free parents?
So far, Dawson County has had four drug-free babies born to participants and eight to significant others, with twins due this month.
What is it worth to show a positive example of being able to beat drug addiction, instead of believing it is hopeless?
What is it worth to reunite families that have been torn apart by addiction?
I would say priceless.
Dawson County is blessed to have the opportunity to assist these participants in their return to our community with a new outlook and way of life.
As Public Defender Rob McNeil said to me recently: "There are miracles happening here all the time."
Dawson County Friends of Recovery