PARKERSBURG - Breanne Alsup, 32, a successful graduate of the Wood County Drug Court, grew up in California where she got involved with gangs and began using cocaine at the age of 14.
She stopped using for a while but in 2005 after several family tragedies, she said she went back to drugs seeking temporary solace.
"My life got really dark," she said.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Katherine L. Boggs is Wood County drug court coordinator/probation officer. The drug court program began here in 2007.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Successful drug court graduates Breanne Alsup and Josh McCune said the program helped them get their lives back on track. Both are now employed and have reconnected with family.
Then in 2008 while working as a pharmaceutical technician she was charged with the theft of some drugs.
"That was the only thing that helped me escape from reality," she said. She lost her family and her livelihood.
"I was selfish, it was all about me and feeding my addiction. I had been incarcerated and when I got out I got some hydrocodone, I started bar tending and was drinking. Pills became like water, and I got in trouble again. Then I got into drug court," Alsup said.
Drug Court Information
There are 11 adult drug courts in West Virginia, many serving multiple counties.
There are 11 juvenile drug courts in the state, including the local program. The adult and juvenile drug courts operate separately.
The adult drug court can serve a maximum of 40 clients.
Clients must stay in the adult drug court program at least one year; they can be in the program longer; the average for clients is about 16 months.
In June 2012 she successfully completed the program.
"I was desperate, I didn't even realize I wanted to quit, and I defiantly had reservations about the program. Once I was in, I realized it was for real. They made me realize I could change. I was saved. God restored my life. He worked on my heart and allowed drug court to help me. They gave me the tools to change my life," she said.
She has since remarried, is self-employed and back with her family.
"I'm high on life now, and it's a lot better than any high you can swallow," she said.
Josh McCune, 28, successfully completed drug court in August of 2011. He started using marijuana when he was 11 years old.
"My father was in prison for first-degree murder when I was seven years old. I was looking for acceptance, I felt different, I was bashful, when I used drugs it helped with the anxiety, the boredom, it kept me from dealing with life," he said. "I am an alcoholic and a drug addict," he said. McCune was arrested for a break-in when he attempted to get into a drug store for opiates and liquor He was charged with seven felonies and a misdemeanor count and pleaded guilty on two felonies. All McCune saw in his future was prison walls.
His attorney recommended him for drug court, said Katherine L. Boggs, adult drug court coordinator/probation officer.
"It was my last option, my last hope. They saw something in me that no one else had seen. They told me I had potential and I started to believe it. I wanted to change for my son. I wanted to be a father, I didn't want my son to grow up like I had, and I changed my life," McCune said. "They cared, and I found acceptance. I got sober, I learned how to feel again. They gave me structure and I needed the consequences."