National Drug Court Month celebrated with a graduation

| May 20, 2019

Derrick Wright was happy to share his graduation from the Coshocton County Family Drug Court program with 12-year-old daughter Raelynn Wright and 10-year-old son Kayden Wright. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – May 15 was a big day for siblings Raelynn and Kayden Wright. It was the day they got their dad back.

“The family drug court program has helped our dad in a big way,” Raelynn said. “They helped him get sober and clean and worked with him to get us back and I’m happy.”

She and her brother have been living with their grandmother Linda Wright while their dad Derrick worked his way through the Coshocton County Family Drug Court Program.

“He’s not an addict now,” Kayden said. “He’s a recovering drug addict. He’s still going to have to fight, but we get to live with him again. It’s going to be fun.”

Derrick started with the program in December 2017 and successfully completed it on May 15 during a ceremony attended by family and all those who worked with him through this process. Everyone in the room shared how much they enjoyed watching him with his kids and how proud they were of the hard work he put into the program.

“I’m grateful for everything,” Derrick said. “It killed me when my kids got taken away from me and I don’t ever want that to happen again.”

Completing the family drug court program isn’t easy, but Derrick said it can be done if you put your mind to it.

“It’s a struggle,” he said. “You have to want it. I’ve been an addict for 27 years, but my kids are more important to me than anything. I figured it was time to change.”

Judge Van Blanchard presented Derrick with a framed copy of his program completion certificate and the paperwork giving him back custody of Raelynn and Kayden.

May is National Drug Court Month. Coshocton started its family drug court in 2014 and the program helps individuals with wrap around support from agencies like Coshocton Behavioral Health Choices, Job and Family Services, Allwell and the court system. There are currently 18 people working their way through the program.

“It helps with accountability and providing a support system,” said JoAnn Uhlig, family drug court coordinator.

Referrals come from cases dealing with abuse, neglect and dependency. It usually takes at least a year to complete the family drug court requirements and an aftercare program is being started to help people with their continued success.

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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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