My name is Tracy and I am an addict.

Being fortunate enough to have lived long enough to make the decision to fully participate in the Drug Court Program was the biggest and most wonderful blessing I was given. Drug Court literally pumped the oxygen back into my soul and the blood back into my veins.

Before entering the Drug Court Program I had no significant existence. I was just an empty and bankrupt soul with no feeling –JUST using up space in my course, dried up shell of what used to be my body. I had no relationships for I had traded them in for brief moments of self-induced toxicity, poisoning myself while thinking I was in ecstasy to later feel like I was in hell.

Throughout my drug and alcohol abuse, I had no feeling, no more hopes and anticipations for a brighter tomorrow. All I looked forward to or salivated for, was quenching that insatiable thirst that I had for any type of alcohol. I did routinely go to any length to attain my alcohol and drugs without thinking twice, only through the DT'S and the come down of meth did I feel the guilt and shame of what I had allowed myself to endure for the sake of having my drugs.

Deep inside I yearned for this nightmare to be over, but in my head it was an impossible thought. I couldn't imagine one minute, second, much less one day without my constant companion. I hated myself for being alienated from a nice warm bed, fresh shower, clean clothes, my children and the rest of my family but if I went home I'd be torn apart from my lifeline and it would be devastating. I actually did cry at times of the physical pain and mental heartbreak I would go through when I had no access to what I needed. I knew I needed help but I just couldn't take the step forward towards making an attempt. I tried detox and a mental institution only to manipulate staff so that I may leave and get high the same day.

One day I was on my way to pick up some money and drugs and the police passed by, my instincts told me I was recognized, I could have run the other way but I talked myself into thinking that it was just my imagination, so I played it cool and kept walking towards my destination, the officer made a u-turn and stopped me... "You are who I think you are, aren't you?" At that moment I couldn't lie. I didn't want to lie anymore, no more running. I emptied out my purse, everything fell out. On the ride to BWDF (Bob Wiley Detention Facility), I felt so liberated. I felt so blessed because I no longer had to run and feel the pain I was feeling. I spent my incarceration in a two man cell for 60 days, time for me to reflect and cry it all out. Finally I was beginning to feel again and I knew what was next. Upon release I waited for a bed at New Visions and I was there a week later, my stay was thirty days. This time was used to form the foundation that I so desperately needed to begin my journey through Drug Court and to be successful; I was convinced that this was my last chance either to live or to die.

Being involved in Drug Court was an experience I will never forget, I was always excited to go to court and be acknowledged by the judge with a pleasant smile instead of disapproval, it felt so good. I was equally happy to be at New Heights as well as Avertest, because everywhere I went I ran into all of my friends who were on the same journey as I. Through Drug Court I formed new positive relationships with my peers and staff, meaningful bonds that I would never turn away from ever. They helped me see inside myself, love myself and believe in me....Upon graduating, I was asked what was next? I had no idea, for Drug Court was my biggest challenge and I guess I hadn't thought any further than that. Kevin Smith suggested I attend College, whoa I thought, me?

Well, I am now a full time student at COS, studying Human Services. I intern at New Heights and I am also on the list for the CAAAR INSTITUTE to become an Addiction Specialist. I never would have been able to do this if it wasn't for the lifelong positive connections I made through Drug Court. I found motivation, dignity and self-respect.