NYC Drug Court Initiative
Manhattan Misdemeanor Treatment Court (MMTC)
Debra Hall-Martin Darryl Kittel Richard Cruz Monique Emerson Kathleen McDonald Lyndon Harding

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Frederick Douglas said, ‚ÄúIf there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.‚ÄĚ Addiction and sobriety may be a struggle that you fight for the rest of your life.¬†Remember you only lose if you stop fighting.¬†

Debra Hall-Martin,
Project Director II,
MTC/MMTC

 

The Success of Mark Rosenfeld

Mark Rosenfeld's case came to MMTC in May of 2004 as a referral from the Honorable Judge Ward of Pt N. Mr. Rosenfeld 's case was a reduced felony and this was his only case, which was an exception to the cases that we normally take. At the time of this referral , MMTC had a policy that required potential clients to have 10 or more convictions. In this particular case all the parties involved, the court, the assigned district attorney and the defense counsel thought that Mr. Rosenfeld would benefit from MMTC.

Mr. Rosenfeld was a 27 year old that resided with his family. He was a college graduate that held a full-time job in the insurance field. He had reported that the only two controlled substances that he abused was Marijuana and Heroin, using only once a week and abusing up to 75 dollars a week of both. Mr. Rosenfeld had just enrolled in an outpatient program in Long Island so MMTC allowed him to continue to stay in treatment since our indication was that he was complying and doing well. MMTC had also confirmed that Mark was working; we wanted him to keep his job. Client took a plea and signed a contract with a 1 year jail alternative since he was being allowed treatment court.

For the first few adjournments, client report and followed all the case management rules however, he continued to test positive for Opiates. MMTC referred Mark to detox /rehab. Upon his completion he was allowed to report back to his original outpatient program, he had housing and he still had his job so we felt he had a stable environment. He did fine for the two months that followed until he tested positive for Opiates , MMTC increased his toxicology, program and case management visits.

Mark got back on track until approximately 6 months later where he tested positive for Marijuana and Cocaine and Opiates. At this point, MMTC was suggesting residential treatment. However, the court was willing to allow one last attempt at outpatient. MMTC referred the client back to outpatient but because he was on a drug that blocked the cravings for Heroin ( Suboxone ) , no program would take him. He had to be drug free. At this point his doctor was not recommending that he detox off it.

After, the client continued to test positive two more times. Mark's doctor agreed to wean him off of Suboxone and MMTC referred Mark to a residential treatment.

Mark entered the Daytop Village short - term residential program on 4.29.05. He took a leave from his job so that he could enter this 90 day program. Mark had a court appearance approximately one month after he was referred to short term residential treatment. His court update indicated that he was doing well, however, a day after the appearance , MMTC was notified that client deviated while he was here in NYC. Daytop Village reported that while with other clients and the driver of the van. Mark took them to his brother's restaurant for lunch. The court was informed and his case was advanced for a shorter date so this could be brought to the judge, district attorney and defense counsel's attention. On that court date Mr. Rosenfeld was sanctioned by the court to an essay. Program opted not to discharge client and Mr. Rosenfelds's case was adjourned for short court dates so that the case could be monitored closer.

From this point on Mark continued to do well in treatment, he had finished the short - term residential program and was now in Daytop's out-patient program doing well. It seems that the pieces were finally all coming together for him. He was really connecting with his family and girlfriend; in fact they were attending family groups together. However, on 9.27.05, about 5 months after being in treatment. MMTC was notified that a lab from the program came back for Mark from two weeks prior and it was positive for Opiates. Mark was spoken to by his case manager at Daytop, Mark did not deny that he used. His case manager reported that he was honest and forthcoming. He disclosed that his mom was very ill and that he was very worried about her. He reported that was a trigger for him. He said that his girlfriend was threatening to throw him out unless he stopped using, he reported that his mom was to have open heart surgery and that he had no friends to share with, that all his close male bonds were users. He felt this was his rock bottom.

MMTC and Daytop spoke and it was decided that client would have his sessions increased back to 5 times a week for the next 30 days. If client continued to test positive a decision would be made if he should be sent upstate again to do residential again. Mark reported to MMTC that his mom opted to have open heart surgery, he was very worried about her, he reported that he was trying to stay focused and use the tools that the program taught him so that he would not pickup. He reported that for the first time he felt strong and he thought he was handling her illness well.

Approximately 6 months after the above incident, MMTC received a call from the Daytop Village program, Mark was requesting to have his treatment sessions reduced from 5 days a week to 2 or 4, client reported that he was hoping to enter the CASAC program through Daytop and needed the extra time so that he could attend the classes. Mark was in phase 4 of treatment with MMTC; he was given a graduation application and told that he would be included in the next ceremony as long as he continued to do well. Unfortunately, one month after he was given his application Daytop Village reported that Mark tested positive for Vicodin, he reported that it had been given to his girlfriend by her dentist and he had taken it on two separate occasions. A referral back to residential was discussed again; client was told that he would report for additional case management sessions, three times a week. Mark reported to treatment court the following week for toxicology testing, he was positive for Opiates once again, this time he said that it was not his name on the test cup, the spelling was wrong but similar to his.

MMTC reported that it was the correct urine and test cup. Because of the spelling error MMTC felt that we had to forgive the results.

Mark continued in treatment, he reported to MMTC that he felt that he needed to enter therapy. MMTC worked it so that client could attend therapy, go to his groups and work in the Daytop Village Intern program which he was being recommended for. Client reported to MMTC that once he got his schedule worked out, he hoped to attend grad school and earn a degree in Social Work.

Mark continued in treatment at Daytop Village Outpatient until his completion on 10.10.06.He finished the intern program and was offered a job at the Long Island facility. Mark continued to report for the next two months until he attended the MMTC graduation on 12.8.06.

Mark is still employed by Daytop Village, he is a Senior Case Manager and is still enrolled in graduate school.

Kathleen McDonald,
Project Director I, MMTC

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

Compilation of Expressions

[The following are words obtained from MMTC graduation applications and assembled by the Honorable Judge Anthony J. Ferrara for the April 2008 Dismissal Ceremony.]

My life before entering MMTC was out of control. I had no structure, no. I move a lot from house to house. I lost a lot of love and respect from my loved ones. I was stressed out and confused.

My biggest change is how I think. I now take responsibility for being a new mother and talking care of my son. Now I have a purpose in life.

I know I still have issues to deal with for addiction is a life long disease. Today I am so grateful to have learned a little about my thoughts and feelings and that negative thoughts don't have to become negative feelings.

Before I got involved with MMTC, I was using drugs, in and out of the jail, and living on the streets doing crime.

Its about change. I've changed my way of thinking from negative to positive.

I am ready to go on with my life, get a good job and go to work.

I was a mess, unemployed bouncing around from friend to family member, neglecting my wife and step son, just completely of no use to anyone, including myself. Recovery was not in my plans. I was stagnated and couldn't see any way out of my dilemma.

I've learned patience, honesty, integrity, understanding, compassion and faith. I realize that I cannot use and I can be successful without using.

My life before coming to MMTC was destructive. Although I was working and paying bills, I still was getting high and being put in jail. I needed a change in my life, I needed help, to be recovered.

I came to treatment for help and recovery. Now I am healthy and I have learned to make better choices in my life.

 

Graduation Pictures

Kathleen McDonald hugs graduate

Darlene Buffalo and ADA Nicole Ortsman-Dauer

Judge Ferrera hands graduate Certificate of Completion

 

ADA Nicole Ortsman-Dauer

 

Judge Judy Harris Kluger

Debra Hall-Martin, ADA Nicole Ortsman-Dauer, Kathleen McDonald

graduation

New York State Unified Court System Lady Justice
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