NE Drug Court reforms a mom

NORFOLK -- "My god works in funny ways sometimes, he can make my mistakes into exactly how things are supposed to be," said Karissa Dasher, a recovering drug addict of four years. 

As a teenager, she said she learned early to let others decide how she felt about herself -- which was to dislike herself. So when she faced homelessness, Dasher said, the illness of addiction came naturally as a way to escape. And, she said, "It can be nice to have nothing to do," she said. However, she was also excluded from family gatherings and financial stability. 

When she was arrested in 2017, she assumed the charges would be dropped. So, Dasher resisted Drug Court. 

But, it became clear her choices were narrowed to prison or Drug Court. "I didn't want to go to prison, so I accepted Drug Court," she said, begrudgingly. 

But soon, she found that this was actually an option she wanted. 

"I definitely did not plan to stay clean," she said. But with the constant support and accountability of the Nebraska Drug Court, she found her life was changing. 

"For the first time ever, at 24, I was able to buy gifts for people at Christmas," she said. 

Her boyfriend, also in recovery, encouraged her to stick to her 12 step program and keep in touch with her sponsor. 

Soon, they were delivering their son. 

"People think that drug court is boring, or that it's for, you know, quitters, but ... Drug Court afforded me the ability to save my own life."

She now enjoys camping with her son, painting, and doing crafts with him. She hopes to return to school and become a teacher, though she is scared of how her career options could be limited from her past. Nonetheless, she is persistent to try. 

"You have to give yourself a fighting chance," she said as advice to others with the disease. "You have to."