- Special Sections
- Public Notices
It's been a few weeks since the most recent drug court graduation was held in the 11th Circuit, which includes Marion County, but for those who completed the program, it was a significant event.
It was both a recognition and a reminder that they can and have been living their lives drug and alcohol free.
Bobby Burke Sr. of Lebanon is one of those graduates.
Burke said he was originally assigned to drug court following an arrest for cocaine possession. He has been sober for 20 months, and he completed drug court after 19 months in the program.
He said his drug use affected his life and the lives of those he loved for decades.
"It's kind of like I went to sleep when I was 20 and woke up when I was 50," Burke said.
He said he tried going to Narcotic Anonymous meetings before he was assigned to drug court, but he never worked his way through the 12 steps. Now that he's completed them, he sees the wisdom in the program. As other recovering addicts have said, working the steps allowed him to live life on life's terms.
"Those steps are where it's at," Burke said.
Burke isn't alone in singing the praises of what finishing drug court has meant in his life.
Jamie Logsdon of Washington County spent 23 months in the drug court program after he was arrested for burglary and breaking and entering because he was trying to get money to get drugs. He also said it's not something he would have done if he hadn't become a drug user.
"Drugs make you do crazy things," Logsdon said.
He admitted that he had a few slip ups when he was first assigned to drug court, but eventually he recognized that it offered him a path to a better life.
"I finally came to grips with the fact that I needed to get out of the program to straighten up my life," Logsdon said.
His drug addiction affected his relationships with his family and friends, but getting sober has helped.
"I had to work to get that love and trust back from them," Logsdon said. "I've done wrong. I'm still working on it, slowly but surely."
For Burke and Logsdon, and for the graduates who have completed the program (many who start get kicked out for a variety of reasons), it has shown them another way to live. It takes commitment, but it also shows how committed they can be.
"It's not a 99 percent program," Burke said. "You got to put 100 percent in it to get through it."
But the reward for sticking it out is invaluable.
For Burke, that means getting to spend time with his grandson.
For Logsdon, that means appreciating the people in his life and feeling great about himself.
"I used to look at the mirror and it would be ugly," Logdson said. "Now, I look in the mirror and it'll wink back at me."