On February 26, 2014, Phoenix House hosted a special dinner with keynote speaker, the Hon. Matthew Anderson of the Harbor Justice Center from Newport Beach, and special guest speaker, the Hon. John D. Lord of the Long Beach Drug Court. The event took place in the beautiful Hotel Maya, with an overlook of Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor. The guest judges discussed DUI courts and treatment for substance abusers, while Phoenix House staff shared information about our treatment programs.
Judge Matthew Anderson was appointed to the Orange County Superior Court in 1998 and has continuously presided over Collaborative Treatment Courts since 2000. He currently supervises two Drug Courts and a DUI Court, which was recently selected as one of four national DWI Academy Teaching Courts. He also assists other Treatment Court calendars, including Veterans Court, Recovery Court, and Mental Health Court. Judge John D. Lord is a former Marine who has served in the state Superior Court and as deputy district attorney in Los Angeles County.
Judge Anderson shared his expert opinion with peers and addressed questions regarding the benefits of Drug/DUI Court for those fighting addiction. Judge Anderson expressed his belief that compassion is the one essential tool in the DUI/Drug courts: “Compassion can be dispensed in many ways; it can be dispensed by taking an 18-year old heroin addict who’s going through withdrawal on the floor of my jail cell or court, and keeping her in custody for a few days ─so that she is safe, and doesn’t die.” Compassion comes in many forms: offering a sanction and requiring an individual to perform community service, simply expressing a job well done, or a probation officer telling someone that they can do better. No matter the form it takes, for those in need, compassion is often the best medicine.
The event concluded with a panel consisting of former clients who recently completed their treatment at two of our Phoenix House facilities in California. One woman shared her experience at the Adult Residential Program in Phoenix House Orange County in Santa Ana. “I was in a very dark place in my addiction; I was homeless, had no job, no kids, and Phoenix House was there to help me through it all,” she said. With the hope to become a better mother, daughter, and sister, she opted for the residential program and completed treatment in three months. The alumni testimonials illustrated the benefits of substance abuse treatment and how it improves lives of clients and their loved ones.
Phoenix House deeply appreciates those partnering with us to give help and hope to those suffering from addiction. If you or a loved one needs help for a substance abuse issue, Phoenix House is here for you. Please call our Call Center at 1 888 671 9392. We are here to help you find the information and services you need!