Family Recovery Court helps dad overcome major challenges

BATAVIA, OH (Nov. 13, 2023) — Adam Hurst started the Clermont County Family Recovery Court program on Dec. 8, 2022, after losing his children due to substance use. Hurst was tired of blaming others for his problems and needed a change.

“Adam entered treatment and worked very hard to overcome his barriers,” said Judge James A. Shriver at the Family Recovery Court’s 15th Commencement Ceremony on Nov. 9. “He got a job, found stable housing, got his license, then a car, and reunified with his children in April. Today we celebrate over 337 days of sobriety and all of Adam’s accomplishments.”

The specialized docket under Judge Shriver was one of the first of its kind in southwestern Ohio when it started on Nov. 13, 2014. Clermont County Family Recovery Court was based on the drug court model, which emphasizes treatment over punishment.

On average, the program takes more than a year to complete. Families (couples or individuals) voluntarily enter Family Recovery Court. Requirements include attending frequent court hearings, Substance Use Disorder treatment, random and frequent drug screens, meetings with a case manager, calling and checking in regularly, attending AA or similar sober support meetings and getting a sponsor or mentor, having income, establishing housing, taking care of criminal matters and getting a driver’s license.

Hurst said during the ceremony that he started using marijuana at age 7 or 8, progressed to alcohol by age 11, and then to methamphetamine. His lifestyle led to loss of family relationships, joblessness, homelessness and jail time. He lost his children to Children’s Protective Services. He was in six treatment programs before entering Family Recovery Court.

“It is better than any of the other ones I’ve ever done,” he said. “It was worth it.”

Sally Partin, a Certified Peer Recovery Support Coach and Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant with the Clermont Recovery Center, was guest speaker. Partin works with all of the families in the Family Recovery Court program.

“Sally is an essential part of the Family Recovery Court because she helps each participant identify their strengths to help them build courage and the recovery community they need to stay sober,” Judge Shriver said. “Thank you Sally for sharing your story today, and why you believe sober support and sponsorship is so important to recovery.”