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Treatment courts participants help clean up Jefferson City

by Joe Gamm | September 23, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Julie Smith/News Tribune Susan Miller steps away after she placed yet another bag containing debris she picked up in Washington Park and out of Wears Creek Thursday morning. Miller is in phase one of drug court through Cole County. Miller and other individuals going through the rehabilitative court, volunteered to take part in the community service program which saw the group haul dozens of Stream Team bags of debris from the creek banks, the Greenway, parking lot and adjacent areas. This is one of the myriad of activities in celebration of Recovery Week.

Dozens of folks connected with Cole County's treatment courts fanned out along Wears Creek on Thursday morning for the We Are the Community cleanup effort.

The volunteers pulled bottles, cans, trash, tires, a shopping cart and furniture from the creek during the effort.

We Are the Community is part of the week-long Recovery Awareness Week celebration. The celebration, which promotes evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, concludes this evening with hayrides and a bonfire at Binder Park.

Ryan Hibdon, who is in the midst of the DWI Court program, said that like him, others performed community service by volunteering to help clean up along the creek. He said community service is a requirement of the program.

Hibdon admitted he'd had setbacks but still understands the alternative to participating in the court is likely jail time.

He said he got into trouble when he fled the scene of an accident.

"In my mind, I didn't have a drinking problem," Hibdon said. "It started to set in -- I'm actually in trouble."

He realized he'd been dealing with alcoholism for more than 30 years.

Cleaning the creek caused him to be introspective, he said. There are a lot of disrespectful people about, he added.

"It's nice to see all of us get out here," he said. "I feel like we made a difference."

Methamphetamine landed Susan Miller in treatment court, she said.

Working in the community Thursday morning emphasized to Miller, she said, that there are creative, helpful things a person can do to be involved with neighbors.

"It's better than sitting around getting high," she said. "It's better than hiding in your house getting high."

  photo  Julie Smith/News Tribune After finishing a walk through Washington Park where he joined fellow members of DWI court recovery program picking up trash from the creek banks and parking lot, Ryan Hibdon talked about how he ended up in the program, the changes he's made in his life and how he hopes to do better moving forward.
 
 

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