The road to recovery

MCRC celebrates National Drug Court Month

By Melanie Yingst -

MIAMI COUNTY — As part of National Drug Court Month, Miami County Recovery Council recognized the dozens of community organizations with a picnic to thank them for their support.

Miami County Recovery Council’s (MCRC) and the local courts’ Drug Court program helps local addicts to walk every step of the way towards recovery.

MCRC manages 40 participants in the county’s Drug Court system. According to Jessica Auxier, Drug Court Coordinator, more than 75 percent of the Drug Court participants are recovering opioid abusers.

According to Auxier, participants in the drug court program have about a 50/50 chance of completing the program successfully during the 12-18 months or more they are eligible in the program.

“They do the work, we just provide the structure, but they have to be the ones to do it. They always say, ‘Thank you! Thank you!’ We would do this regardless. You have to want it. You have to do it and we will support you along the way,” said Auxier.

Over the course of 12 to 18 months, each participant must make frequent court appearances, participate in an intensive supervision process. Auxier shared how each participant must attend AA or NA groups as well as, individual and group counseling and consent to random drug screens.

“You see them come in, all broken down and they have lost everything. Then you get them into treatment and then they start feeling better so that gives them hope. That motivates them to keep trying and then they start getting these successes — they get a job, a place to live or they are starting to see their children again,” Auxier said. “And in the end, they are just completely not even the same person — completely different, totally different person — that’s the change that can happen in a year.”

Drug courts are also considered more effective because people are more compliant when they’re held accountable and supervised regularly by a judge, giving them an advantage over community-based programs, said Auxier.

Miami County Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth Gutmann and Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Gee preside over the county’s drug court program. The Miami County Municipal Drug Court Program has been awarded the Ohio Supreme Court’s Specialized Docket Certification.

More than 17,000 people in the U.S. died from illicit drug use in 2014, compared with 14,775 deaths in 2013 and 11,641 deaths in 2011, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The Miami County Recovery Council is an agency of the Tri-County Board of Mental Health Services and is supported by the United Way of Troy Inc., Piqua United Way and Tipp City United Way. The center is located at 1059 N. Market Street, in Troy.

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MCRC celebrates National Drug Court Month

By Melanie Yingst