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Drug Court Grads Get Lesson on Recovery

Ed Ferenc, Public Information Officer
Feb 14, 2012
(Cleveland) – The 39th Graduation Ceremony of the Greater Cleveland Drug Court under the direction of Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Anita Laster Mays and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge David Matia took place Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. in the Cuyahoga County Jury Assembly Room.

Contact:  Ed Ferenc, Public Information Officer 
                 Cleveland Municipal Court
                 216 664 6787   216 857-7420

Date:  February 13, 2012

Drug Court Grads Get Lesson on Recovery
“The More I Give, the More I Get” says local counselor

(Cleveland) – The 39th Graduation Ceremony of the Greater Cleveland Drug Court under the direction of Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Anita Laster Mays and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge David Matia took place Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. in the Cuyahoga County Jury Assembly Room.

A total of 42 people graduated, 14 from the county program and 28 with the city, which brings to 1,178, the number of people who successfully completed the program since it began 14 years ago.  Of that number, almost 80% remain sober and drug-free.

The keynote speaker was Owen Taylor, a licensed independent chemical dependency counselor, who in May of this year will celebrate 25 years of sobriety.

“I did everything to get out of responsibility.  My wife kicked me out and I ended up in a homeless shelter for four months,” said Taylor, who hit rock bottom when his mother died.

“She wasn’t there to lend me money anymore and I hated God for that.  Then I realized I needed God’s help, which got me through AA and here today talking to people who went down the same road I did.”

In 1999, Mr. Taylor founded Positive Choices; a community based multi-service chemical dependency assessment, treatment/intervention services organization supporting the needs of individuals, families and industrial concerns.

“The more I give, the more I get,” he said.

The Drug Court Program is a sanction-based yearlong program that emphasizes treatment and accountability.  Should a participant fail a drug test, or is otherwise non-compliant, a penalty is imposed.  The Greater Cleveland Drug Court was created in l998 under the direction of the Honorable Larry A. Jones and taken over in 2009 by Judge Mays.  The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court became a partner in the program later that year.

From left to right:  Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Anita Laster Mays, Keynote Speaker Owen Taylor, and Common Pleas Judge David Matia.

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