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23 Recover From Addiction With Court Treatment Program

Addiction Treatment Program Addiction Treatment Program

A couple years ago, Nathan Getz was in this same Hardin County court room facing a possible sentence on drug charges. On Monday, he was there again, but this time, sharing his story. 

Sober for 18 months, he is one success story out of the voluntary Addiction Treatment Program. Instead of jail time, people can choose the road to recovery. 

" I don't think this is something we can arrest our way out of. If we don't actually work to treat the symptoms of addiction and help individuals restore their lives, we are going to continue their cycle of incarceration," said Tracy Plouck, director of the Ohio Department of Addiction and Recovery Services.  

The pilot program started two years ago. 78 people were accepted and 23 completed it.

""Getting in the program is easy, recovery itself is hard, and you just gotta wanna change," said Getz. "You can't do something because somebody else tells you to, you have to want to make the change."

The  medication-assisted treatment is paired with classes and support to help them find jobs. A Hardin County judge believes the program is more effective than simply punishing the offender, it also protects ts the public. 

"If you send an addict to prison, 99 percent of those persons come out as an addict, and what have you done to protect the public?;' said Judge Scott Barret. "If we help them recover, you've done something not only for them but for the whole community."

A total of 410 people participated in the pilot program in seven counties. Now, $11 million will be invested into the Addiction Treatment Program that will expand to 15 counties.