MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Recovery is an ongoing effort, but Wednesday, Dec. 4, marked a significant milestone for five parents who have grappled with opioid addiction.
They graduated from the voluntary and intensive Family Treatment Court program and were reunited with their children.
Case summaries were read in court and included the number of substance-free days for each participant, when their kids were able to return home, and the various types of support groups and treatments they had.
One of the graduates, Jessica Friend, said it was a big week for her.
On top of graduating the program, she will have her second baby on Friday.
“Her name is going to be Nora and my three-year-old is Hannah,” said Friend.
She said she was reluctant to do the program at first and has struggled along the way.
“Every 20-30 days I would relapse, so I asked to put myself on daily urine analysis,” said Friend. “I got past 30 days, made it to 60 days, made it to 90 days then just kept going, and now I have over a year clean.”
But she said every step has been worth it after getting custody of Hannah in August.
“We have such a wonderful relationship now which was really hard at first because, to be honest, she didn’t really know who I was at first because even when she was a baby, I was around but I wasn’t present,” said Friend.
Another of the five success stories recognized at their graduation was Mandi Taylor.
“Recovery is a lifestyle change, recovery is a journey not an event and you’re somebody that recognizes that completely,” the presiding judge told Taylor before officially declaring her graduated.
“I was on drugs for ten years and I lost all my kids then I went to treatment, got out and had another baby,” said Taylor. “I was clean for two years then I relapsed.”
Now Taylor is celebrating over 460 days substance free and after getting custody of her daughter September 27, she said she can’t wait to spend the holiday season for the first time, mentally and physically, with her soon-to- be 2-year-old.
“This program is amazing, it has changed my life, it’s helped me get my daughter back and change the person that I was,” said Taylor.
This class of five marks 28 graduates in the three year history of this program.