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Devonís Story: Drug Court Saved My Life

AMHC is the Drug Court outpatient substance abuse treatment provider in Washington County.  The Drug Court provides a highly effective alternative to incarceration for individuals whose involvement in the criminal justice system is rooted in serious addiction to drugs and alcohol.  By keeping drug-addicted offenders out of jail and in treatment Drug Courts have been proven to reduce drug abuse and crime while saving money.  Devon is a Drug Court success and this is his story.

Devon started experimenting with alcohol and marijuana at age 14.  By age 20, he spent most of his time partying and was addicted to cocaine, ecstasy, and alcohol.  He was abusive and assaulted his girlfriend, resulting in a domestic violence charge, but only received probation.  Devon had periods of self-induced sobriety, but over the next four years, his use progressed to prescription drugs and heroin.  He was unable to hold a job, felt demoralized and a burden to his family.  One night, he lashed out in a rage at his girlfriend, the mother of his two young children, and was arrested and charged with domestic violence again.  Devon was faced with a Class C felony for a violent crime.  During his jail intake, he admitted during the screening that he was a drug addict and decided to attend the jail based Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting.  After the meeting, he resolved to make a change and wanted to commit to living a sober life; he made bail with his father’s help.  He found an AA sponsor and began attending meetings; but soon he relapsed.  Still facing jail time, and knowing he was powerless to overcome his addiction on his own without real help, he advocated to his lawyer and the judge approved his admission to Drug Court for substance abuse treatment and case management. 

Over the next year, Devon successfully moved through the Drug Court outpatient treatment program encompassing structured group and individual counseling led by AMHC Substance Abuse Counselor, Abby Frutchey.  He also worked with an assigned Maine Pretrial Services case manager who administered mandatory drug tests and worked with Devon to access employment, stable housing, and social services for him and his family.  Throughout the course of the Drug Court program, Devon began supplementing treatment by attending peer support groups, which he still participates in regularly.  

Now 27 years old, Devon walks the recovery path every day.  He is a respected mentor and role model for others embarking on the road to recovery and lifelong sobriety.  Today, he is happier, healthier and lives in his own home; and he is an involved, active Dad with his two daughters.  He says, “Drug Court helped me to deal with my emotions.  I identified my emotions, which had manifested as anger, but I was fearful.  When you grow up in an alcoholic home, you don’t talk about your feelings – you are afraid to show your feelings.  (Today) I wouldn’t take anything back because it had to happen to me in order to seek help.”