Drug court awareness month celebrated with picnic

| May 16, 2018

COSHOCTON – May is National Drug Court Awareness Month and it was celebrated locally with a picnic for drug court participants and their families.

JoAnn Uhlig is the family drug court coordinator at Coshocton Juvenile Court. The goal of the program, which was started in 2014, is to help families struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction who face the loss or restriction of their parental rights.

Uhlig explained that there are four phases of the program that deal with employment, schooling, transportation and housing.

“You have a year to get done what is required of you,” she said. “You also have to appear before the judge weekly to monthly depending on what phase you are in to show how you are doing.”

Twelve people have graduated from the program including the most recent Allison Williams who completed her requirements on Feb. 20.

“I honestly never thought I was going to get there,” she said. “When I first started I hated everyone and only cared about what I wanted to do. I was very unstable. I couldn’t hold a job and didn’t like to talk to people.”

Today life is different for Williams.

“I have two jobs, my own place and my daughter back,” she said.

Williams’ advice to others would be to never give up.

“Determination and dedication got me through,” she said. “You have to want to do it too.”

Representative from different agencies that are part of the drug court support team also attended the picnic.

“We all get together and provide wrap around support so they can get the best support from us that they can,” said Crystal Kiser, from Coshocton Behavioral Health Choices (CBHC).

Missy Thomas from CBHC also stopped by the picnic. She serves as a peer recovery support / case management specialist and has worked at CBHC since February.

“For 15 years I had an addiction, but I’ve been sober now for almost 10 years,” she said. “I have a passion for what I do because I have lived their lives. I love the support and accountability that clients have with this program. If this would have been around when I was dealing with addiction, I probably would have gotten sober a lot quicker.”

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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