By Joe Tilton
April 25, 2019
During the “Building a Stronger Community” in Greenville on April 13th, two stories were relayed by the people involved that shocked the audience. The first was included in last week’s edition about Ruth Rondon, who was a victim of human trafficking. This week, the other story is about how Judge Linda Davis’ life was changed by her 17-year-old daughter, and how she now understands how life is not so perfect, even when you try hard to make it that way.
Judge Davis began telling how hard she had been as a judge, lowering the boom on drug offenders. She relayed cases, without names, where she lacked restraint in sentencing, such as the 16-year-old drug pusher receiving a life sentence for his offenses.
“Addiction was put in my life to change me,” she told the crowd of over a hundred. With that, she described her teenage daughter who was “perfect,” and a cheerleader in competition. The child was a model citizen, making her mother proud, when one day the Judge discovered her example of the perfect child was hooked on vicidon, a synthetic form of heroin. It began following a prescription for pain after an injury in cheerleading practice.
Now, Judge Davis, the “tough on drugs” judge, had a problem in her own family that made the drug epidemic real, but in a different way.
Treatment was arranged, only to discover “how broken our treatment facilities are,” she said. “We have been wrong on every level.” The once “hanging judge” when it came to drugs is now looking for a way to get her daughter help instead of jail time.
“If we don’t start now, it will never get fixed,” she told the audience of people in recovery or instruction. “I think every youth should be a part of the 12-step program. It’s a good way of life for everybody,” she continued.
Now Judge Davis is involved in programs such as “Families Against Narcotics.” Another is “Hope not Handcuffs,” which operates in Macomb County, and she is on the Governor’s Commission on Addiction.
One Montcalm County Judge heard the presentation.
Davis told the assembly how life expectancy is reduced by 20-years when issues like addiction to drugs are in a young person’s life. “Montcalm County is loaded with resources,” she said.
As with Ruth Rondon’s story from last week, Judge Davis encouraged change in treatment facilities and listening to youth to help them out of trouble and drugs.
The steps to recovery Judge Davis talked about are: 1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable. 2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. 4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 5. We admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human, the exact nature of our wrongs. 6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. 8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. 9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. 11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out, and 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. The website www.aa.org has more information.
Follow up with leaders of the conference indicate a very effective event, held in the cafeteria at Greenville High school.
Originally Published in Lakeview Area News, Lakeview Michigan