A young white woman with brown hair leans against the wall in a hallway. She smiles at the camera and is wearing a green lanyard.

Thanks to your gifts, Don – whose name has been changed to protect his identity – became the fifth person to graduate from Drug Treatment Court. After struggling with an addiction to pills and cocaine for almost three decades, he is now in recovery, working, and hoping to rebuild his relationships with his family.

Cortney, a Housing Support Worker at Mission Services of Hamilton, helped Don find affordable housing while he was going through Drug Treatment Court Hamilton to leave homelessness behind.


“When I first learned about Drug Treatment Court (DTC) Hamilton, I was very unsure about it. I had tried going through treatment twice before, but both times I went right back to using and being out on the streets. I think I returned to using substances because I wasn’t ready to quit. I also didn’t feel like I had the support I needed in order to succeed.

I had been using pills – opiates like Dilaudid and Hydromorphone – for over 30 years. I also started using crack-cocaine back in the 90s. Whenever I had money, that’s what I would spend it on.

As a result of my substance use I’ve been in jail many times. I was facing going back to jail when my court-appointed attorney told me about the DTC program. He explained that it was designed for people who kept coming through the court system as a result of an addiction. He invited me to watch the court and meet some of the people involved with the addiction treatment support. I realized then that I didn’t want to go back to the way my life was. I knew I had to make some changes, so I decided to give the program a try.

The hardest thing about the program was having a curfew. I wasn’t used to having rules about when I could and couldn’t go out. Another difficult part was feeling comfortable around the other people in the group treatment. As part of the program you have to attend group sessions every day and go away for treatment. Hamilton is a small place and I had a history with some of the people in my group. That could make it difficult to open up. And even if I didn’t know them, that could make it difficult too. But my counsellors supported me through it.

Today, I’m convinced that Drug Treatment Court Hamilton works. The daily group sessions, the support from counsellors, and the expectation to get involved with more activities in your life and make positive changes – all of these create a supportive environment that allowed me to make the changes I wanted to. I’ve returned to work and, one day, hope to work as a heavy equipment operator. I’m also looking forward to rebuilding my relationship with my brother.”


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