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'Don't be a prisoner of your past' Parks tells Drug Court grads

Listen to the Delta County Drug Court gradiuation program and all five stories of drug addiction.



Five participants in the Delta County Drug Court graduated from the program yesterday. They meet at the Delta County District Court while others watched online.


District Court Judge Steve Parks told the five several rules to live by including not being a prisoner of their past.


“If people judge you by your past, then they are not really worth worrying about,” he said. “You have your whole future ahead of you and I hope you take advantage of it.”


He also urged them to be honest to themselves and others.


Graduating were Mike Bizeau, Sarah Doutree, Karl Schmidt, Zach Tryan and Kasey Rudden-Stoerck. Like others in the drug court, Rudden-Stoerck starting using marijuana at a young age.


“My drug use started at the young age of 13,” she recalled. “In high school, I drank and started to use drugs. It began with marijuana, then cocaine then opioids. I started to skip school which turned into truancy and eventually I was expelled from two school.”


She was in and out of jail and says her life was in shambles before deciding to take the offer of drug court rather than serve her time.


“Drug court has dramatically changed my life. I went from being jobless and homeless to having two jobs that I enjoy, an apartment of my own and two years of sobriety.”


Judge Parks says it was disappointing to have to hold the graduation program online because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Drug Court graduations are usually held in the larger Circuit Court packed with supporters.

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