Apr 29, 2013 8:33 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Santa Maria drug court graduate shares his struggle with addiction

Recovering drug addicts from the Central Coast are celebrating how they've turned their lives around, and it all became a reality through a program called Adult Drug Court.

It's a place for addicts who've found themselves in trouble with the law, to gain a new lease on life.
The program helps them learn from their past to create a new future.

"We're given the opportunity to come into this program and change our lives around," said Jason Kealm.

For Jason, the road from drug addict to drug court graduate has been a long and difficult one.

"As a younger adult I did drink alcohol with my friends and drink to extremes," said Kealm.

It wasn't long after that Jason got into harder drugs.

He began using meth and was quickly hooked.

"I had no morals, I had no reasons to be responsible, I was just going from one motel room to another trying to get high. That's the life of an addict," said Kealm.

After a failed attempt at getting sober, he was urged on by his three children.

Jason was arrested for possession with the intent to sell methamphetamine in February 2012 and entered into Santa Maria Drug Court.
Today, as he plans to address those like him at this year's first graduation, he wants others to remember it's not a quick fix.

"First and foremost, stick with the one day at a time," said Kealm, "because you can't do anything about yesterday, and you can't do anything about tomorrow, you're right here right here today and that's where you have to stay."

Drug court officials say statistics show 75% of Drug Court graduates are still drug free and crime free two years later.



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