Ex-drug addicts graduate from program for women

Women who battled drug addiction were given an opportunity Tuesday to create a new life for themselves and their families.

The Women’s Therapeutic Court celebrated eight women who successfully completed the program. The ceremony was held in Montgomery County Judge Gregory Singer’s Courtroom Tuesday afternoon.

“There were several times that I wanted to give up,” said graduate Jennifer Plummer. “The court gave me hope.”

The women were required to remain drug free for six to nine months, pass general educational development test, and work towards obtaining a steady job. The program is tailored to meet the unique challenges women face while they are battling addiction.

“So many of our women have lost their children because they were born with illicit drugs in their system,” said Singer. “They never experienced the physiological bonding you get from holding a newborn baby.”

The Women’s Therapeutic Court also helps women get out of relationships with men who are involved with drugs, and help them overcome sexual abuse they may have endured in the past.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy was the keynote speaker for the ceremony. She awarded each graduate with a bracelet to symbolize freedom from their addiction. Kennedy told the audience that the court system needs to find the causes of addiction so the women are able to break the cycle of drug abuse.

“When you can reach the symptoms of addiction, you can embark on a new life that is free of crime and abuse,” Kennedy said.

The therapeutic court graduates said they are looking forward to rebuilding relationships that were strained because of their drug use.

“We’re not bad people,” said Jennifer Lawson, who also graduated from the program. “Nobody sets out to be a drug addict. That’s not our goal in life.”

Singer said he is seeing positive results from the program, but he is still looking for ways to improve it.

“There are still far too many people dying from drug abuse,” he said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

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