That’s how Kyle Adkins explains how he’s changed over the last 160 weeks — the time he spent as a participant in Kenosha County’s Treatment Court program.
Late last week, Adkins became the newest graduate of the program, ending a story that began when he joined it on Jan. 13, 2020, looking for a means to treat his substance use disorder while avoiding a return to incarceration.
Since then, Adkins has submitted more than 300 clean drug test samples and has completed more than 160 weeks of therapy, treatment, meetings and counseling.
“I’ve grown tremendously in pretty much every way,” Adkins told the court during his final appearance on Wednesday, Feb. 8. “I’m more responsible, mild-tempered for the most part. I feel like I’ve gotten respect from people; before, not so much.”
Treatment Court Coordinator Brian Bynsdorp seconded Adkins’ self-assessment.
Bynsdorp said Adkins has come a long way since his life before the program, when his health and relationships were deteriorating, and his lifestyle choices were only exacerbating his problems.
“During his time in the program, Kyle has learned what thought processes led him down the path of incarceration, and, importantly, the thought process of how to turn his trajectory into a positive one when he thought it was never possible,” Bynsdorp said. “Kyle is strong, sober, working, and well on his way to rebuilding his life with the support he’s garnered and the tools he’s obtained during his journey.”
The Kenosha County Treatment Court is an intervention program for adults who have pleaded guilty to one or more crimes related to their severe and persistent mental illness and/or substance use disorder. Treatment intervention is structured around the authority and personal involvement of the judge and a team of Treatment Court professionals.
Through this collaboration, the court seeks to provide a variety of programs and supervision that support and help maintain a stable life free from illegal drugs and alcohol.
Aaron Creamer is a testament to the success one can find in the program.
Creamer, who successfully completed Treatment Court in 2019, said he has now been sober for more than five years, owns his own business and is starting a family.
“It’s truly worth everything you do, all of the hard work,” said Creamer, who was in the audience for Adkins’ commencement. “It truly pays off tenfold.”
To his fellow court participants, who are in various stages of working toward their own commencements, Adkins offered a little advice.
“Use this to your advantage,” he said. “Don’t just go through the motions without making the effort. It’s definitely worth it to finish this program, but it’s not easy.”
More information about the Kenosha County Treatment Court, including court contacts, is available by contacting Brian Bynsdorp, Treatment Court Coordinator at Brian.Bynsdorp@kenoshacounty.org or 262-605-6646.