Woman overcomes drug addiction through faith, family, and drug court

Woman overcomes drug addiction through faith, family, and drug court
Rapert and daughter Makenzie (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Over a decade of addiction, arrests, and the loss of family members are just a few things one Region 8 woman overcame to become sober.

Paulette Rapert grew up in Delaplaine and has fought drug addiction for 16 years.

She was addicted to meth and facing a life behind bars. Rapert said it was her children who opened her eyes.

"You know, if you just can't be the mom I need you to be, would you just go on and let me be where I am at so I can be happy," Rapert said.

A mother of three, Rapert's youngest daughter Makenzie said those words to her.

"I was so selfish doing what I wanted to do that I didn't care at the time who I hurt," Rapert said.

It was behind bars where Rupert found out who her true friends were.

She said her so-called friends didn't try to help her get out and being on the inside was only doing more harm.

"All I did in prison was learn how to be a better criminal," Rapert said.

Patricia Hunt, Rapert's sister, took custody of Makenzie and said she never imagined they would go through this.

While she wanted to help, Hunt said it got to the point where she had to put Makenzie first.

"In order for her to get where she needed to be, we had to just quit enabling," Hunt said.

The tough love approach worked.

Rapert got accepted into the Agape House, a Christian-based recovery program for women, and graduated in 2015.

And thanks to another opportunity, Rapert was able to stay out of jail.

In January of this year, she graduated from Greene County Drug Court.

Drug court is a program Rupert said is demanding but worth the commitment.

"They talk to us like we are humans, not criminals," Rapert said.

While she said it is hard to stay on track, finding God through the Agape House and having the opportunity to go through drug court saved her life.

"I've got more than a lot of people because I have the riches God has given me," Rapert said.

Rapert and her sister said they hope to reach the eyes and ears of people dealing with addiction whether they are facing it head on or have a family member in the fight.

"We want people to know there is a better life," Hunt said. "There is hope."

Rapert said her recovery will be eternal, but it's doable with strength from her faith and family.

She currently works as a house mother for the Agape step down house in Paragould.

She also works in the Goodwill TEO program.

Rapert said her goal is to become a substance abuse counselor, but for now, she is focused on continuing her recovery and taking one day at a time.

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