Most of the clients currently in the Drug Treatment Court Programme are no longer using drugs.
This was revealed this evening at a session at the Supreme Court, during which the status of each participant was reported on. More than 75 per cent of them tested negative for drug use in September, following on from their last testing in July.
The participants are all persons who have broken the law in one way or another, with most of them facing the courts for drug offences.
Acting in the absence of the Drug Treatment Court Magistrate Pamela Beckles, Assistant Magistrate Graveney Bannister questioned the few who had relapsed about their reasons for doing so and encouraged them to continue striving toward their goal of being drug-free.
There were rewards for those who had successfully and consecutively remained ‘negative’, with some receiving lunch vouchers compliments of Lucky Horseshoe.
The lone female in the group gave one of her fellow participants a huge smile and a ‘knock’ as he returned to his seat with his vouchers.
Magistrate Bannister also stressed to them the importance of attending group counselling sessions, so they could gain the necessary support from their peers in the Drug Rehabilitation Programme.
Addressing the clients, Senior Counsellor at the Centre for Counselling Addiction Support Alternatives Jerry Bellamy reminded them that they had just completed the “honeymoon stage” but “now is the time that the rubber has to hit the road.”
Bellamy commended them for doing well, even those who relapsed. “Not that we condone it but relapse is something that happens and sometimes it makes us stronger,” the counsellor remarked, “but maintain your sobriety.”
Chief Probation Officer Dorita Lovell urged them to “resist the old crowd.” She too commended their efforts, as she recalled that several of them had at first been resistant to the programme.
“But over time you have come to realize that there is good to come out of this change of behaviour,” Lovell added.
She further urged those who were unemployed to try hard to find work since this would “bring a sense of responsibility.”