Latest Adams County Drug Court graduates realize succeeding in new life means saying goodbye to old one

day conner

David Day and Darrell Conner are the latest graduates from the Adams County Drug Court. - Photo by Ron Kinscherf

QUINCY — Everybody in the Adams County Courthouse’s courtroom 2A could sense the happiness as Jennifer Fischer announced 122nd and 123rd graduates of the Court’s Drug Program, Darrell Conner and David Day. 

“We love it. We love seeing that success,” Fischer said. “We like seeing them change their lives and just be a more productive member of society. I’m going to miss Dave and Darrell.”

Conner and Day both had similar paths entering the program, which was established in 2006. Both were addicted to methamphetamine and hanging around with the wrong crowd.

Disconnecting from old friends is one of the first steps in recovery.

“It’s the most important thing you got to do,” Conner said.  “You can’t be friends with any of your old friends. You’ve got to make new ones. It’s very, very hard. I mean, I’ve got friends of 20 plus years that I can’t talk to anymore.”

“That was very, very hard to give up all the people you grew up with,” Day added.   “That’s very hard, but I found new friends in the fellowship. Positive ones.”

Drug Court participants must come to court weekly, meet with their probation officer weekly, attend substance abuse treatment, self-help meetings and support meetings, and be prepared to submit at any time to a urinalysis.

Both Day and Conner have been sober for more than a year.

Conner, a single parent of three, has started a career at a local manufacturing company and just bought his first house. 

“It (buying a house) was one of the best moments of my life so far, besides the birth of my children. The kids all have their own room,” Conner said.

“Darrell is a great father,” Fischer said. “He’s got a good heart. He made some bad decisions, and he recognizes that. He has really changed. He’s really worked to provide a solid foundation for his kids.”

Day can be found most days at the Serenity House at Eighth and Jefferson helping others with their own battles of addiction.

“An important part to my recovery is helping others,” Day says. “So, I share my story with them, and they can relate to me. And then I help them work the steps. I’m a good role model for a lot of people.”

“David has really surrendered to this process,” Fischer said. “He has become a huge impact in the recovery community. And he is giving back through his service work.”

Like any other graduation, there’s cake afterwards. Lots of hugs and lots of smiles … including huge smiles on Conner and Day.

When asked about this smile, Day responded.

“Yeah, I’m happy…happiness is a big part of the program.”

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