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Five Graduate Lawrence County Drug Court
Updated September 22, 2016 12:01 PM
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(BEDFORD) - In the 17th graduation of Drug Court, five people shared their stories of their struggles and how they turned their lives around.

Lawrence Superior Court II Judge William Sleva and his team oversees and administers Drug Court, a program which offers those who have committed crimes with drugs and or alcohol - a second chance.

The program is an intensive attempt to rehabilitate and reform offenders who have problems with addiction.

Judge Sleva described the program with one word - redemption.

"They (drug court participants) seek the redemption of their lives, family and work," he added.

Today, five graduated the program.

Jeff Landreth was arrested when he drove his grandchildren while drunk to the Bedford Public Library.

On September 18, 2013 Landreth's life was changed.

Every day before entering the program, Landreth downed a fifth of vodka.

On March 10, 2014 Landreth took his last drink.

"It was a struggle to stay sober. They (the drug court officials) saw something I couldn't see - hope" he added. "They sent me to rehab."

Landreth says to surrender means you lost the battle and cease to fight. But to Landreth it was a spiritual battle.

"Where a person has been to hell and doesn't want to go back," he added. "People ask me if I am going to take another drink and I tell them I don't know because I take one day at a time; and that is what works for me."

Today Landreth has no plans on taking another drink.

Mary Dodds has been an alcoholic most of her life.

She grew up in a family of alcoholics.

"All of us here have a different poison," she added. "We are all here to save our lives."

In 2011 she got the first of two alcoholic offenses. She was downing a 12 pack of beer a day or more.

"I carried a cooler in my trunk," she added. "I would sneak to my car and to get a beer."

Dodds says drug court helped her help herself.

And as she left the podium after her graduation speak, she gave a final toast to her fellow drug court participants and staff by holding up two pieces of dark-brown toast.

There other men also graduated today, but didn't want to be identified.

All three shared their struggles with drugs or alcohol and praised the drug court staff for turning their lives around. All three are now employed and have mended family relationships.

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