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Drug Court themes hold lessons for us all
Joni Hubred, News Editor
Joni Hubred, editor, Steele County Times

“We’re all addicted to something.”

Those words stayed with me as I walked out of last week’s Steele-Waseca Drug Court graduation. County commissioner Rick Gnemi said them during a graduation ceremony for Jason House, who stuck with the program for more than three years.

While many more people than we know deal with drug or alcohol addiction, homelessness, food insecurity, and poverty, we easily think of those folks as “others”–people with whom we have almost nothing in common.

But I think it’s a rare individual who doesn’t depend on something to get them through the week–a free-wheeling Friday night with friends, a glass of wine with dinner, a binge that ends in a “food coma”. So I’m sharing the wise words of Chief Judge Joseph Bueltel, who checks in every week with Drug Court participants to talk about these three themes:

  • Showing up, being honest, and trying – these are three major tenets of the Drug Court program.
  • Persons, places, and things – look at who and/or what in your life is keeping you on track and sober.
  • You are responsible for what you put in your body – you do the drug or take the drink, you deal with the consequences.

Think for a moment about how much better all our lives would be if we just paid attention to those things. Certainly, every job works better when we show up on time, practice honesty, and give it our best effort.

We know the people and the things who keep us on the right track, working toward a successful, happy life, don’t we? Equally as important, we know the people who don’t.

And taking responsibility for what we put in our bodies… I suspect that would make us all feel healthier and better about ourselves. I know I often blame stress when I eat too much.

My afternoon in Drug Court reminded me that I, too, have behaviors I need to correct, and in a strange way, softened my heart to those who have chosen to work hard every week to get their lives back on track.

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