Yesterday we provided a brief outline of the Substance Abuse Treatment And Recidivism Reduction program. Durham County operates the STARR program with the goal of providing help to inmates who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, thereby reducing recidivism rates. The program is administered by the Durham County Criminal Justice Resource Center and Sheriff’s Office, and it is one of three similar programs for inmates who want to recover from addiction. It is funded by the county.
A recent article describes the journey of one man as he made his way from childhood to addiction, then to jail and the STARR program. The man, whose name is Eric, had what most of us would consider a fairly normal childhood: brothers, a father who taught him about baseball, a close and well-educated family. Somehow Eric took a wrong turn as a teenager, however, and he began to use marijuana, cocaine, prescription medications and opiates.
Eric’s refusal to take a drug test led his parents to kick him out of the house when he was 18 years old. After that, he went between attempts to get sober and periods of drug use — and theft to maintain the drug use.
The birth of Eric’s son, and Eric’s third arrest, caused him to seek treatment through the STARR program. In the Durham County jail, he was able to use group therapy, education, 12-step program meetings and assignments to address his addiction.
Eric graduated from the program. Both his fiancé and his sister attended the ceremony, during which Eric held his son and wore a black graduation robe. He even read a poem aloud. Eric still faces sentencing for crimes in Durham, but he plans to pursue an associate’s degree — and to be there for his son.
Source: Indy Week, “Former baseball player and drug addict finds solace in rare rehab program,” John H. Tucker, Sept. 11, 2013