If ever there was a stroke of brilliance in Minnesota, it was the moment someone thought to create drug courts to help people get rid of their addiction, rather than sending them to jail or prison.
The Winona Daily News reminds us of that with its profile of Zarna Polus, 37, who has struggled with her addiction since she was 19.
She’s been in jail a few times but was in a position to lose everything in a drug bust in 2014.
She relapsed a few times during the program but graduated on Tuesday.
But let’s talk about the power of a 14-year-old boy. It’s her son, Ethen Infield, who didn’t give up on his mom.
“She tested my patience — I’m not going to lie,” said Ethen, 14. After her most recent relapse almost two years ago, “I told her, ‘If you mess up one more time, that’s going to be it. I’m going to be an adult soon. I can’t have all of this stress on me.’ ”
Polus lost almost everything after the raid — the roof over her head, her belongings. But no matter where she was, no matter where drug court had placed her, Ethen would find a phone number and call his mother.
“He would call every morning,” she said. “Or I would call him. Then, we would always call to say good night, and he would tell me about his day.
“He hated the using mom, the mom that was high all the time. But he was always right there.”
After the raid, Ethen moved in with his grandmother. He still lives there, even as his mother nears two years of sobriety, because the courts have barred them from living together.
Another child, a daughter, lives with her father and the two want nothing to do with Polus, even if she’s sober, the Daily News says.
“She’s one thing I’ll probably never get back,” she said.
Archive: The war on drugs hasn’t worked. Time to change attitudes (NewsCut)