BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A Baton Rouge mother who has been clean for almost three years now wants to inspire other families dealing with substance abuse.
“I was at the rockiest of bottoms. I had no relationship with family. I had no friends. I was homeless. I was on the streets for about 15 years,” said Dani Miller. “It was lonely. It was miserable. It was like you’re getting high just to numb those feelings.”
Years ago, Miller was in and out of jail on drug charges, losing custody of her children. But after her last arrest, she knew something had to change.
“I was, like, okay with being there. I was, like, okay, this is a break. Sit here and get your mind right,” said Miller.
This time around, Miller had a guardian angel at the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge. Lisa Burns is a case manager for the Pre-trial Diversion & Recovery Program, screening for people with drug charges. Burns pushed for Miller to become part of the program.
“It took a while for everybody to get on board, including her. It was hard for her to have been through the things that she had been through,” said Burns.
“With this team, they are very personal with you, and they work with you. Seeing how much they pushed to work with me, and help me, made me want to help myself that much more,” said Miller.
Participants of the recovery program go to a sober living or halfway house for a minimum of six months.
“These are people that are arrested and incarcerated, generally unable to make their bond,” said Burns. “They can not have a violent charge of any kind, and they must be approved for the program.”
All participants must also take part in job training and educational programs that will lead to future success and prevent a return to jail.
Miller completed the program and has reconnected with her family.
“My family and I could not be any closer,” said Miller.” I have built relationships back with my sisters, my brothers, my dad. One of my three kids I had since being in the program. So the two kids I lost before, I have them back full time.”
Click here for more information about the program.