ZANESVILLE, Ohio- In a time where the opioid epidemic is sweeping the nation, hitting Ohio the hardest, there was a glimmer of hope for one Muskingum County woman who found her way out of addiction.
After trying meth, Traci Liggett lost everything.
“I got addicted, and I got addicted fast. I lost my children on December 25th, 2015 and the rest is history,” she said.
Traci has since, regained everything that matters most to her, thanks to one program.
The Muskingum County Family Dependency Court is a program that was started by Judge Eric Martin to ensure that broken families, with children neglected by addict parents, are able to become whole again.
“This [program] is meant to effectuate long term, learned life changes, not simply short term fixes to the symptom of a problem,” said Martin.
To be considered eligible for the program, participants must have a cased filed with children’s services which allege abuse, neglect or dependency of children.
In Traci’s case, the neglect was due to substance abuse.
“Meth took over me. It took over everything that I owned. It took over my soul. It made everything just a dark, dark place,” she said.
But, nearly a year later, Traci celebrated becoming the first graduate of the family dependency court program, with friends, family and most importantly; her children there by her side.
“That’s what we’re here for. Mom’s and dad’s should raise children. Not grandma’s and grandpa’s, not aunt’s and uncle’s, and certainly not the state of Ohio,” said Martin.
Thanks to a treatment team that consisted of Muskingum County Children’s Services, Muskingum Behavioral Health and Allwell Behavioral Health Services, Traci is now reveling in her new life.
“Today means living, not just existing. Today, I can enjoy that my daughter wants to argue with me about cleaning her bedroom. It’s the little things like that that used to stress my entire life out and I would use it as an excuse to go use,” Traci said. “[Now] I’m not stuck in addiction in a dark spot anymore, and that to me, everything is beautiful now. It’s not perfect but it’s as close as it has been in a long time.”
As Traci continues on her path of recovery, she has also set out to assist others. She created her own recovery program to help addicts find their way to recovery.
“If you need just one person that can listen to you, I’m there, I’ll help anybody,” she said.
Her group meets on Tuesday’s at 8 p.m. at the Frazeysburg Presbyterian Church located at 10905 W. Carlisle Road in Frazeysburg. She invites everyone to come join her.
And for those contemplating taking the step to recovery, she has one message.
“If you’re ashamed don’t be. If you’re scared that’s okay, you should be. It’s a scary thing, but that is what shows how courageous we really are.”