Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevy delivered the graduation speech at the sixth Middlesex County Courthouse Drug Rehab program in New Brunswick on Friday May the 4th. The ceremony marked the graduation of 23 individuals who had regained their lives through the program. According to an article in my central new jersey .com these New Jersey Drug courts serve over 4,300 people statewide. Currently there are 316 Middlesex County Drug Court participants.
I have no doubt that rehabilitation works better than incarceration, rebuilds lives, keeps families together and helps people get back into society and lead happy and joyful lives. What stood out to me was the quote that 62 people had graduated from the program since 2004 that is 8 years. It stood out because that is a staggeringly low number, don’t get me wrong 62 people saved from jail or death is a win for the program and the individuals involved. The same result is available to anybody who needs it through becoming an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I see it every day, the exact same result people coming back from the jaws of death, lives repaired, families united and gaining productive useful employment. All it takes is a desire to stop drinking, a desire to change your life and a willingness to do the work. I would say in that same 8 years that AA has helped thousands and thousands of people to do the same thing, get and stay sober and rebuild their lives. There is no pomp and ceremony no graduation ceremony just alcoholics helping other alcoholics to share and work the 12 step programs that saved their own lives. I congratulate those 62 but my guess is that the prospect of prison made them more motivated than they might have been about their recovery. I challenge the fact that you need an expensive program that costs the citizens of New Jersey probably a substantial amount of money (but I do not know that). AA is an anonymous program that is part of its attraction, the fellowship, the support and the love in the program has helped millions of people achieve what this program has done for these people at little or no cost.
The former governor seems to be passionate about helping people but why do we need a niche program to do what is being done quietly and without ceremony around the world every hour every day. And let’s not forget those who really gave us a recovery program that really works the founders and visionaries of AA.