Perry, Washington County drug court sees first graduate - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Perry, Washington County drug court sees first graduate

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PINCKNEYVILLE (WSIL) — Wednesday was a happy day for Casey Vordtriede and her family.

“It was amazing, actually. I cried. I don’t want to cry,” Vordtriede said. “But it also made me…it’s kind of bittersweet because I’m going to miss all these people.”

Vordtriede, a mother of two, celebrated her graduation from the Perry and Washington County Drug Court, the first of her kind for a program that started in February 2018.  

“I’m proud of how far I’ve come,” Vordtriede said. “I didn’t think I was going to make it this far. I figured I would either be dead or still in active use.”

Casey’s journey started four years ago when she was arrested for possession of heroin and sentenced to probation.

Eventually, there was a petition to revoke her probation, and she had a choice to make: prison or drug treatment.  

“This is something that people really have to want because there’s a lot of people who want sobriety and want to learn these tools that would take your place,” Vordtriede said.

There’s a number of different qualifications, and only non-violent drug offenders qualify.

Perry County Probation Director Beth Cassity coordinates the drug court.

“I believe in the program 100 percent,” Cassity said. “We’re not going to be able to help everyone, but I do believe we’re going to help more than if we sent people to prison.”

It’s broken up into five different phases over a period of at least 52 weeks, including drug tests, counseling, constant contact with the court, and eventually a public service project.  

Vordtriede spoke to school children across the two counties for her project.

“I just wanted to help kids and just people, and just let them know it really doesn’t matter who you are, and it can happen to you," Vordtriede said.

And now, with her charges officially dismissed, Casey says she’ll continue seeking counseling for the rest of her life.

The drug program is funded by a state grant program that Cassity says has just been renewed for another year.

It has 25 people actively making their way through treatment.

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