The arrival of a new year often means making resolutions and a fresh mindset.
Matt Jordan knows the decision to live a better life is done not only at the beginning of each year, but at the start of each day.
Jordan, 26, was arrested on drug charges in December 2010. He is in the fourth phase of a five-phase DeKalb County Drug and DUI Court program. He also has been sober almost 13 months.
“It took hitting the rock bottom to get back to it,” Jordan said. “I can’t just say, ‘I’m done doing drugs.’ I have to work at it. My life has improved 100 percent since I quit drinking and doing drugs.”
The DeKalb County Drug Court: Choosing Life and Ending Abuse Now program, a voluntary program that started in 2006, requires participants to complete treatment, appear in court, undergo drug testing and more.
Participants receive treatment and rehabilitation in a five-phase program; each phase takes about three months. Participants who don’t complete phases as they have agreed to may face sanctions, including community service or having to redo phases. In extreme cases, a participant may face jail time or be kicked out of drug court, drug court coordinator Marilyn Stromborg said.
Through his experience in drug court, Jordan said he’s learned a lot about the concept of his addiction being an actual disease.
He used to believe he partied too much and could stop when he wanted, but that wasn’t the case.
“Alcohol and drug addiction is a progressive disease,” he said.
Stromborg said Jordan is unique in how quickly he has been able to turn his life around. Staff do encounter some failures, she said, and it can be difficult to witness when they’ve come to know participants over a period of two or three years.
But when someone experiences success through drug court and embraces a sober lifestyle as Jordan continues to do, “it makes it all worthwhile,” Stromborg said.