Duluth Drug Court: 10 Years
Posted at: 10/26/2012 6:39 PM
| Updated at: 10/26/2012 10:28 PM
By: Renee Passal
A celebration of 10 years worth of success stories, took place at the St. Louis County courthouse in Duluth on Friday.
The Duluth Drug Court has been helping people overcome their addictions for a decade now.
A poignant moment was when Pam Roalstad spoke. She's a graduate of the program, and said she's been clean now for two and a half years.
"I'm so thankful to be alive, and it's all because of Drug Court," she explained. Pam said she was an addict and an alcoholic for 34 years. But is clean now, and is looking forward to taking a trip to see a grandchild for the first time soon.
She then sang a portion of Amazing Grace for the full courtroom.
The room was full of people who've graduated from the program or who are supporters.
The Duluth Drug Court is one of the first in the state of Minnesota. It offers intensive group efforts to help people kick their drug addictions. Law enforcement, judicial officials, attorneys, counselors, probation officer, and others are all part of the team.
They have about a 65% graduation rate. Graduation means being completely sober and clean for 365 days in a row.
Agency leaders said that along with helping the participants, it also helps society. Fewer people on drugs then commit fewer crimes, and cost the taxpayer less money with emergency visits to the hospitals or incarceration costs, they said.