ALBION, Ind. — In her jail booking photo from three years ago, you can still see the red mark on Faith Spriggs’ left arm where she injected methamphetamine.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, her face is droopy, eyes slightly downcast. In the photo, she’s still high. She had just gone to someone’s house to see if she could score more meth when police stopped her and found drugs and a syringe in her purse.

Now, Spriggs looks at the photo and sees someone who looks sad and sick.

Three years later, she’s a graduate of Noble County Drug Court and hasn’t used for 32 months. She shared the photo — with pride — with the large crowd gathered during her graduation Dec. 5 to show how far she’s come.

“It’s hard to believe that it was me, because I’m so different now,” Spriggs said.

Her slip into addiction started at just 12 years old, when she and a friend stole the friend’s older brother’s alcohol and drank it during a sleepover. They did that several more times.

In her teen years, her boyfriend and his friends smoked marijuana, drank and popped prescription painkillers. She started doing it, too. By 18, she began using methamphetamine.

Her life on meth was a rapid downward spiral. She stole. She sold her possessions until she had nothing left.

She sums up the rest simply by saying she did things she’s “very not proud of.”

She didn’t work. Her car was repossessed. She didn’t have a home. She bounced from house to house with little more than a backpack. She’d be shooting meth six or seven times a day.

Homeless, Spriggs literally lived under a bridge.

“You don’t have heat. You’re outside. Rain comes; you’re going to get rained on. We had a couple blankets and a bag, that was all,” Spriggs said. “You couldn’t eat whenever you wanted to. It was whenever the rescue mission served.”

Spriggs abused alcohol and drugs for 14 years before she finally got caught in October 2013. She was picked up on a $500 warrant for child court. No problem, she thought, because a friend could pay her bail. Then police found the meth and needle in her purse.

She was so high at the time that when the officer asked if there was anything in her purse he might poke himself with, she said no, because she didn’t remember she had a needle.

“I think it took me a good two weeks to come to, that this was real. I knew I was in jail. I knew where I was at, but I didn’t understand the severity of what I had done,” Spriggs said. “I was so high when I was arrested, I saw them pull those things out of my purse and thought they were going to overlook it.”

She enrolled in drug court and got off to a tumultuous start as she tried to wrap her head around all of the rules she needed to meet between bond, the halfway house and drug court.

But the rigorous drug court requirements kept her honest. Spriggs jokes that the drug court staff is nearly as all-knowing as God in keeping tabs on their enrollees. But she credits God the most for helping her throw drugs out of her life and make a change for the better.

During graduation, Spriggs thanked Noble Superior Court 2 Judge Michael Kramer for issuing a no-contact order for her and her husband, who also was using at the time.

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