They say you find inspiration in unlikely places. Which I would agree is correct and sometimes you find inspiration when you aren’t looking for it.

One thing I really like about my job is getting to experience different groups in the county and making connections with people. Most are organizations I might not otherwise have known about.

Last week I was invited to attend Drug Court. This was my second time attending and it’s one of my favorite groups to go to.

We hear so many bad things in our county with drugs that we don’t realize that there are quite a few people trying to get out from under the thumb of addiction and are succeeding!

The main reason I was in Drug Court that day was because my friend Frankie was graduating. Frankie and I are new friends. He is my go-to person when I need input on addiction. Frankie helped me with my article on addiction in December. We are also both involved with the drug coalition here in Paulding.

Frankie spent three years in prison on drug related charges. As part of his judicial release he was ordered to attend Drug Court. In the short time that he has been out of prison, he has started Narcotics Anonymous in Payne and has been a huge inspiration to many people!

Frankie is now the 19th graduate of Drug Court. Nineteen graduates! How amazing is that?

To graduate Drug Court is a really big accomplishment. It takes 12-14 months to get through the whole program and it’s hard to complete. Many people get weeded out during the first phase. And not all who start the program actually finish the program.

 Only the people that really want to stay clean and change their lives complete the program. And that’s where the inspiration is found!

I love sitting in the courtroom and listening to people be excited about sobriety. Men and women in our community are becoming sober. They are experiencing life with a whole new outlook.

People are earning their sobriety chips, gaining trust from people that deemed them untrustworthy in the past, getting their kids back and just learning to successfully live the sober life.

It’s inspirational to see people overcoming the overwhelming obstacles on the path to becoming better human beings. They deserve so much credit and recognition for achievements.

But change like this only comes when people are ready for it. Some might not be ready for it right now, but six months down the road they might decide they are. It’s important to not give up on people. No one is a lost cause.

This is logic that can apply to anyone. Everyone has something they are working on to better themselves, whether it be a diet or work out regimen, sleeping more or smoking less. You might not succeed at making a change right now, but that doesn’t mean you won’t ever succeed.

You just have to keep trying. Life is full of obstacles and situations to knock you on your butt. Instead of staying down and feeling sorry for yourself, you just have to dust yourself off and try again.

Drug Court is a lot like a family. Everyone encourages each other and celebrates the milestones together. Seeing your friend succeed is motivation to try harder. People are working through the phases and soon there will be another graduation!

Both times I have gone to Drug Court, I have left inspired. It’s great seeing people making positive steps toward improving their lives.

Judge Beckman does an amazing job leading the group and is really passionate about the people involved. She is personally invested in watching everyone succeed.

So congratulations Frankie! I’m so proud of you for everything you have accomplished this past year and I’m excited to see what the future holds for you. We are so lucky to have you in our community and making a positive difference in the lives of others!