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Drug court reuniting

Judge Robert Armstrong’s Drug Court program has worked, since last October, to free local parents from the barriers keeping them from maintaining a suitable household for children, such as an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Participants enroll themselves or are ordered by Armstrong to enroll in the one-year program.

“Technically, this is bigger than a probation,” said Greg Dreveny, family dependency drug court coordinator.

The intensive curriculum requires weekly court sessions to review the reports from program heads at group therapy sessions, classroom compliance and performance from teachers at G.E.D. or college classes and discussions with Dreveney.

Armstrong sees a positive turn-around in every participant, even if some are struggling at times.

“You’re just getting going,” Armstrong said to a participant during court. “It’s like you have taken two steps forward and one step back.”

Armstrong also has a Juvenile Drug Court. This offers help repair families by encouraging parents attend weekly court sessions with their child.

Leaders also help facilitate discussions between parent and child to create better communications in the home.

“So many of them just didn’t know there was a better way,” Armstrong said.