Celebrating 'the new life' that comes with sobriety

In celebration of “National Drug Court Month,” the Warren-Center Line Treatment Court will hold a special graduation ceremony on Tuesday May 22.

Judge Matthew Sabaugh will preside over the 2:30 p.m. ceremony at the 37th District Court’s Warren location.

There will be two participants graduating from the program and being successfully discharged from probation.

Members of the Warren City Council will be invited to receive awards for their continuing support of the Treatment Court.

While treatment court funding is mostly dependent on state and federal grants, Sabaugh said those grants are not guaranteed.

“The success of problem-solving courts nationwide is a great thing, but it also means an increase in the number of courts competing for grant dollars,” he said. “Of course, there are no guarantees with grant funding.”

The Warren City Council recently approved the addition of a full-time administrative staff member to prevent the program from shutting down if the grants were to be denied.

“I attended the budget hearing and I was truly touched by some of the individual council member’s supportive words about our program,” Sabaugh said. “They understand how devastating addiction has been to our city and how marginalized addicts and their families can feel.

“By approving our budget request, they are keeping our program going even if the federal grant funding stops. I truly appreciate the city council’s commitment to saving many Warren citizen’s lives.”

The Treatment Court includes both the Drug Court and the Sobriety Court, which are structured and intense probation programs.

A big part of the program, Sabaugh said, involves bringing participants back into the community through various activities and community service.

“Psychologists tell us that the opposite of addiction is connection. Making those connections is a significant part of our program” said Sabaugh. “We provide opportunities for participants to bring their families to fun activities such as bowling, visits to the cider mill in the fall, Detroit Tiger’s games and our annual summer picnic.”

Community service also is required and Sabaugh and staff join the participants twice a year for the clean-up of a section of Dequindre road through the adopt-a-road program.

“We are so proud of our newest graduates and the overall success of our program,” the judge said. “We will celebrate their graduation and the new life that comes with their sobriety.”

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