By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Annette Garrett made a promise Thursday afternoon during an impassioned speech.
"It won't happen again," she said, her voice trembling. "It won't."
Garrett was addressing people attending the latest Drug Court graduation at the Adams County Courthouse.
Garrett and Robert Logsdon, both of Quincy, are the 52nd and 53rd graduates of the program since its inception in 2006.
Drug Court is an intense form of probation that includes weekly group sessions and constant monitoring for drug use, especially during the first of three phases that normally take almost two years to complete. Garrett was in Drug Court for 547 days, Logsdon for 582 days.
"I am a completely different person than I was two years ago," Garrett said. "I thought going into Drug Court, all I had to do was pee in a cup for two years, but ... I learned so much."
People who are accepted into Drug Court could otherwise face lengthy prison terms.
"I had been a math(amphetamine) addict since I was 16," said Logsdon, now 28. "I have changed a lot, and life is better in every way."
John Grotts has been Drug Court probation officer since 2008 and never tires of the success stories.
"It is really great to see the light come on in their eyes, realizing they don't have to lead that kind of life," Grotts said. "Only the ones who have survived the insanity of drug addiction can appreciate" what Garrett and Logsdon have accomplished.
Grotts said the two can now "embrace a new freedom and happiness."
"They are getting rid of the insanity," he said.
Some of the people attending Thursday's graduatiion were past Drug Court graduates who were on hand to show their support. There were also members of the current Drug Court class.
Garrett could hardly contain her smiles -- or her tears.
"I hope for years to come that I can come back here (and encourage others)," she said.
Logsdon said he is putting his life back together step by step.
"I handle situations differently now," he said. "Instead of saying, ‘Screw it,' I keep moving forward, trying to make a better life."
Judge William Mays, who is the presiding judge for the Drug Court program, said an event like Thursday's is often the highlight of his week.
"This is a very positive experience," Mays said.