Menomonie woman’s journey from drug addict to substance abuse counselor | Chippewa Valley News

Menomonie woman’s journey from drug addict to substance abuse counselor | Chippewa Valley News

MENOMONIE (WQOW) – A Menomonie woman who struggled with prescription drugs and alcoholic beverages is now a material abuse counselor at the Dunn County Jail.  Now, she makes use of her working experience to support inmates on their very own journey to restoration.

To this working day, the audio of a jail door opening nonetheless triggers Sheli Jo Metzger of Menomonie.

“In a four thirty day period period of time, I had nine felony rates,” Metzger explained.

In 2002, she was billed with possession of methamphetamine with intent to provide.

Her medicine of selection were being meth and opioids, and she considers herself a recovering addict and alcoholic to this day.

“I have been in recovery for practically 18 decades. It will be 18 several years in March,” she said.

She served 6 months in jail and underwent treatment method.  In 2011, she turned a material abuse counselor, operating in distinctive services in Hudson, River Falls, Menomonie, Eau Claire, and Stillwater, Minnesota.

“In 2021, I was pardoned by the Wisconsin point out governor, which basically authorized me to work in a jail environment.”

So in Oct of 2022, she started doing work as a material abuse counselor in the Dunn County Jail.

She functions with inmates 1-on-just one or in teams, conversing via methods to protect against relapse.

“What I want to function with them for is to assure they have some location secure to go, make sure that they are operating on an precise recovery plan.  So I’ve actually named it a care approach.”

Metzger’s position was freshly created as section of a medication assisted therapy application in the jail.  A $150,000 ‘Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program’ (COSSAP) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice money the application and Metzger’s career.

“I assume Sheli Jo really gives hope to the inmates,” said Sara Benedict, the legal justice director of the Dunn County Justice Collaborating Council. “They’re capable to see that she has remodeled her daily life, that she was on 1 aspect of the bars and now on the other.”

Metzger claimed, “It does assist with these inmates for them to know that I’ve been in jail, and particularly this jail mainly because they know that I know what they’re going by way of.”

Investigation showed medicines and alcoholic beverages were the prime motives they experienced inmates, so jail officers claimed it was time they invested in a compound abuse counselor.

“The result is, you will find significantly less probable opportunity that they’re likely to arrive back again into our jail. We get in touch with that recidivism. If they can crack that cycle of drug and alcohol abuse, it can really cut down the criminal offense and the selection of folks that we have in jail,” Benedict claimed.

For people having difficulties with addiction, Metzger claimed don’t be worried to acknowledge help.

“We are fairly stubborn and we consider we can do it by ourselves, but get whatever is getting provided to you.”

Benedict talked about they prepare to reapply for the grant that resources Metzger’s posture, or apply for a distinct federal grant to carry on the software.