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55 participants graduate from Hamilton County Drug Court program

55 graduate from Drug Court
Posted at 11:30 AM, Apr 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-30 11:30:25-04

CINCINNATI — A local judge is giving out second chances and hoping to put an end to drug overdoses and criminal activity related to drug use.

Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Nicole Sanders presided over a Drug Court graduation Friday. The 12 to 18 month program aims to end addiction and improve the quality of life for individuals who find themselves in trouble with the law because of substance abuse.

“What is drug court,” asked Isiah Lumpkin, Drug Court director. “Drug court is an opportunity for you to change your life.”

During two back-to-back ceremonies, 55 participants were handed a certificate of completion for a program that participants say is rigorous.

Each person who enters the program does so voluntarily, in some cases the alternative is jail time for the criminal charges they face.

Henry Bromagen gladly took the program option last march.

“Its helped me out in the long run,” he said. “My kids look up to me. My relationships with my family have been rebuilt.”

Bromagen said his year long course was not easy. Three months ago a close friend who was also in the program overdosed and died — Bromagen now keeps his picture as a reminder to keep going.

“It just tells me how hard this drug is,” said Bromagen. “Its not a respecter of person. It will take you out with one drop.”

Currently there are 659 participants in the program. In 2021, 1362 cases were disposed.

Judge Sanders takes the work of the court personally, saying the purpose is treatment and linking participants with services that can get them on a better path.

“We try to remind people that there is hope here,” she said. “Every life has value and that as long as you show up, try and be honest that the drug court staff will be here for you and we will help you through your journey.”

For some, the journey is more than just finding sobriety.

“We are also addressing the other areas that may be deficient,” she said. “So that when you leave you are gainfully employed, you have housing. Not only are you sober but you are stable.”

It’s a feeling Bromagen is grateful for.

“There is hope,” he said. “Don’t give up on yourself because I’m sure you have family that is not giving up on you.”

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