More To The Story with Staley: Drug Court

Dave finds out what graduates from the program go through

DALTON, Georgia (WDEF) – We have lots of people inside a big room in Dalton. Listening to a judge. But everybody is happy. Some are emotional. They have good reason.

Edwards Park and the accompanying community center is used for a wide variety of things here in Dalton. Sports such as football and soccer. But today, the center is being used for individual celebration!

It’s the Conasauga Drug Court graduation ceremony. The 85th edition.

Several people are graduating from an intense 18-24 month rehabilitation program.

Basically, students of the program ran afoul of the law. And were addicts. They went before a judge, such as Superior Court Judge Jim Wilbanks.

The students were then entered into the program. By their own request. Wanting to get straight. Get clean.

“It has hard parts about it. Because you’re working on emotional stuff. But I was ready to change. If you do what they ask you to do, it’s pretty simple. Besides the core issues.”

This year is the 20th anniversary of the program. And the success rate is quite high. But for those few who DON’T make it, it’s usually not because they started using again.

“The people that don’t complete the program….it’s not typically because they’ve had a drug relapse. It’s because of criminal activity they’ve become involved in.”

Those who graduate from the program then jump back into regular life, if you will. Using what they’ve been taught, to become a productive member of society.

“They’ve had issues and difficult times. Our goal is to help them overcome these things.”

And the first step…… graduation!

From Dalton, Dave Staley, News 12 Now

Categories: Dalton, Featured, Local News, More To The Story With Staley, Whitfield County