Second Chance Drug Court benefits many

Piqua man recognized for his strength.

TROY – Jamie Arnold of Piqua not only successfully completed the requirements of Miami County’s Second Chance Drug Court but did so while recovering from a crushing ankle injury at work.

Arnold was recognized for his strength not only in overcoming his addiction but in working toward recovering from the injury without use of opioids, his past nemesis.

The Drug Court held a special graduation ceremony in late May during National Drug Court Month.

Judge Jeannine Pratt of Common Pleas Court has overseen the program since 2019. The program in Miami County was started more than 20 years ago by Judge Jeffrey Welbaum, now an appeals court judge, and Thom Grim of the Miami County Recovery Council, now TCN.

“Mr. Arnold, you were a challenge,” Pratt told Arnold. He resisted the program at first but then adjusted and got in the program, she said.

A roofer, Arnold was injured in a fall and underwent surgery that was followed by a serious infection. He attended the graduation with a metal device stabilizing the ankle.

In addition to the judge and the drug court treatment staff, Arnold was celebrated by siblings and friends along with other drug court participants.

He is an example for others seeking sobriety, the court staff said.

Despite his painful condition, he refused to take opioids.

“If anybody had a excuse to use, it would have been you,” said Justin Lande, court chief probation officer. “Once you set your mind to it, you accomplish whatever you want to do. Keep that mindset going.”

The Second Chance Drug Court is intended to benefit both participants working to break their addictions and the communities where they live.

“Drug courts in general successfully save lives and money for our communities and help reduce crime,” Pratt said. The program has both accountability and therapeutic components, she said.

Miami County’s drug court has three phases. They include adjusting to the program and its requirements, delving into issues that led to the person’s addictions and looking at other life issues that may be a concern because of an addiction.

Those who complete the three phases and are sober at least six months can qualify for graduation.

Program participants meet biweekly with the court and treatment team to review progress toward recovery and addressing life skills such as job training, if needed; housing; and transportation, among others.

For the community, a successful program means savings of the around $100 per day cost of incarceration and fewer people behind bars in crowded jails and prisons, Pratt said.

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