Nashua Drug Court held a ceremony on Thursday for four new graduates of its program to help those struggling with addiction. The program aims to reduce recidivism and harsh jail time with the alternative of rigorous drug rehabilitation.
Participants receive treatment from Greater Nashua Mental Health, ranging from Intensive Outpatient Therapy, individual and group therapy. Recovery Coaches also help connect them to services in the community like housing, education and vocational training.
Community supervision and accountability are important components of the program. Participants are subject to routine check-ins with staff members, random and frequent urine tests and curfew checks.
On average, the program lasts 18 to 24 months for those who complete it.
Kenneth Coon was one of the four graduates. His plan is to enter into the treatment industry, a career path many Drug Court graduates tend to choose.
“I’ve already been in contact with [the Farnum Center],” said Coon. “I’ve gotten classes to be a Certified Recovery Support Worker. I just need to get licensed through the state. It’s more than easily attainable.”
Julie Christensen-Collins, the coordinator of the program, says the key to post-program success is getting connected with recovery support systems in the community and finding a sense of purpose.
“The participants that have the most success build for themselves a life outside of Drug Court and outside of their substance use,” said Christensen-Collins.
More than 40 people have graduated from the Nashua program since it first started five years ago.
Ryan Haggerty is one of those former graduates. He completed the program two years ago and offered this piece of advice.
“Keep fighting,” said Haggerty. “Don’t ever forget where you came from. You should wake up everyday and remember what got you there.”