Special Report: Costs of Meth - Part 3 - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR - Will Carter Reports

Special Report: Costs of Meth - Part 3

May 23, 2007 - Posted at 6:09 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO-Our final focus is on the drug court program.

Out of all of the solutions, it is one of the more strict, but effective programs.

It's everyday discipline and the random drug tests keep those going through the program in check with themselves.

And the program is mending broken roads and giving former drug users a new way of life.

"All of my friends used drugs. I began to like them, I learned how to make them. I didn't ask for that. I just wanted to go out and have fun. It grew into an addiction, a vicious, vicious addiction."

For Jassen Lawrence the addiction to methamphetamine would last for nearly 12 years.

"I didn't know how to handle it. God forbid, I wasn't going to ask for help. I was too scared, and fearful, and ashamed...really ashamed."

Like many meth users, Lawrence's meth addiction hit a hurdle when he was arrested by police.

"When I got in trouble and got arrested, it was the worst day, and it was the best day for me. It opened up new doors for me," said Lawrence.

The doors that opened were those of the drug court, a program that is making strides in the fight against addiction.

"I think we help them put some structure in their lives. We provide a planned program of taking action everyday to overcome the progressive addiction that they have dealt with for so many years. We provide the support they need to get their legs under them and give them the strength they need to return to normal living," said Circuit Court Judge David Laser.

Normal living is not something that happens when your sitting behind bars.

"Prison is not the place for someone using drugs. They need help. Like me, they just wanted to get high. They didn't know it was going to be a jail sentence or a condemnation of life. They are out there trying to enjoy themselves the way they know how to. They are a part of a click, or a group. That's all they know. That's all I knew," said Lawrence.

Now Lawrence knows something better...a better way of living...a better way of life.

"I can look at myself in the mirror and not have to be embarrassed, or trying to hide something. As I called it back in the day, the sliding and the hiding, I don't have to do that anymore. I can look at people face to face now and smile, and feel really good about it. That makes me happy," said Lawrence.

He says drug court taught him to be aware of his surroundings and made him realize that he's got a lot to fight for.

"If I fail a drug test, I go to jail. I lose my clean time. I start phase one allover again. I've just got too many people riding with me, my family, my friends, my friends in drug court," said Lawrence.

Friends that took a life once broken, and gave it a new start.

"People in drug court, they kick for you. They do anything they can for you. I thank them for it, I really do," said Lawrence.

Jassen Lawrence is now 124 days clean, and he also graduated to phase two of the drug court program this week.

If you would like to view any of the former reports on the Costs of Meth simply click on the featured video links below.


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