A community prevention project was represented and local judges at an event in a neighboring county focused on intervention for those with addictions.

The Project Opiate team and the Livingston County judicial bench, consisting of Circuit Court Judge Michael Hatty and 53rd District Court Judges Suzanne Geddis and Carol Sue Reader, were represented at the Ingham County Sobriety Court Foundation 6th Annual Breakfast recently. The guest speaker was former CEO West Huddelston with the National Association of Drug Court Professionals at the Lansing Country Club.

The Ingham County Sobriety Court was founded in 2007 to develop support for local Sobriety Courts in meeting the needs of their participants. Specialty courts have been deemed the most effective judicial intervention for treating addicted participants. Livingston County Project Opiate aims to educate and curb prescription drug abuse and opiate addiction.

53rd District Court Administrator Francine Zysk co-founded the program and makes presentations about the epidemic at the local, state, national and international levels. Zysk told WHMI “The Project Opiate team is encouraged by the Specialty Courts that are conducted to improve our programs. The Specialty Courts that are done in Livingston County are conducted as a team with the passionate, hardworking and compassionate Judicial bench. With the presentations today we heard incredible stories of perseverance, struggle and sobriety with the assistance of Specialty Courts. I am grateful for cognitive programs and Specialty Courts. One of the speakers stated today “When we meet someone new, we meet them where they are at in their life.” One of the greatest gifts is to watch a person change where they are and to improve their life with a smile of success. It is heartfelt to be part of that journey with that person.”

Pictured from left to right are: Judge Suzanne Geddis, Judge Michael Hatty, Francine Zysk, Judge Carol Sue Reader, Undersheriff Jeff Warder, Kathryn Heath and Shera Novak.(JM)