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Partnership between Summit County drug courts, organizations help guide users through rehabilitation

Posted at 8:47 AM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 08:47:04-05

Barberton Municipal Court Judge Todd McKenney has spent the last six months trying to rehabilitate drug abusers through drug court.

"When I first started, I didn't realize just how hard it would be," said Court Judge McKenney. "I've done three funerals there for people that have overdosed; people that I know. 44203 has the highest rate of overdose in the county.”

His courthouse is next door to a funeral home

"They’re in and they’re out and then they overdose,” said Judge McKenney.

Help from grassroots organizations, like Akron Say No to Dope have helped drug courts along by guiding drug users through drug rehabilitation programs.

"You have to give it all. Everything you have,” said Tugg Massa, with Akron Say No to Dope. "It makes them held accountable. People are in there for a drug-related charge or a probation violation from a drug-related charge. The drug courts want us involved now. We're out here to help people. We're out here on our own accord."

More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year.  

Judge McKenney said he's working on a trauma-based counseling program for the families of addicts. He expects it to be available within the next six months.