David Shepherd: News Blog

Journalist's Notebook

The Long Road to Recovery: A Special Report Part 1

A SPECIAL REPORT By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com] – Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TERRE HAUTE — Reports show Vigo County is in the top 3 counties in Indiana with meth problems.  It’s 6 in the state for alcohol abuse.

But some people no longer want to be part of that statistic. 

We see time and time again the effects drugs and alcohol can have on individuals, their families and their communities.

Some people are getting a new lease on life.  It’s all thanks to the Freebirds residential treatment center in Terre Haute.

Some residents are sentenced to recovery here, others go by choice.  But the outcome and the goal is the same.

“I’ve totally changed,” says resident Scott Williams,  “and as far as I’m concerned, this place has saved my life.”

Freebirds houses, educates and treats people addicted to drugs or alcohol.

“I got out of jail and I just realized I was done with this and I went through rehab,” Williams said.

While in rehab, Williams found out about Freebirds.  His battle with alcohol abuse put a strain on his health and his relationship with his family.

He says, “They want me to come home for visits now.  I just went home last weekend and me and my dad went up to the cabin.  We never did father / son stuff.  I’ve totally changed.”

Stacy Basham discovered she needed a change after years of drug use and jail time.  She got help and now works at the facility, helping others with their battles.

“Because of someone believing in what I had to say this time, instead of going back to the Rockville Correctional Facility, I was sentenced to Freebird.”

Now, Stacy credits God, and help from the Freebirds, for her remarkable recovery.

“[God] knew when I was ready and he put this place right here when I needed it.”

Wiping tears of joy from her face, she added, “Is every day great?  Yeah, it is!”

Now that you’ve read how successful the program is, how do they do it?

Find out Thursday night on NBC 2 News at 11 and right here on the David Shepherd Newsblog.

October 28, 2010 Posted by | News & Current Events, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTWO Special Report: Inside the K2 Craze Part 1

By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com]

David Shepherd's Video Report CLICK HERE

Police and lawmakers in Indiana are struggling with how to handle a new craze; a legal way to get high.

Law enforcement’s fight gets harder as a new herb’s popularity continues to spread.

K-2 is a blend of herbs and chemicals that mimic the effects of marijuana but it’s so easy to get your hands on, all you have to do is go to your neighborhood gas station.

It’s that easy access officials in Indiana fear, as more and more people start lighting up the so-called synthetic marijuana.

At first glance, it looks like, smokes like and gets users high like marijuana.   But it’s legal and easily available and it’s growing more popular each day.

Chief Deputy Ron Gambill of the Clay County Sheriff’s Department says, “[Users] think they may be doing something legal and something that may not be as dangerous but, in fact, their exposing themselves to more danger.”

Opponents say there are more questions than answers.  For one, no one really knows what’s in it.

State Representative Clyde Kersey, (D-Terre Haute) says, “There’s been no human testing on it and so, no one really knows what the effect of it is.”

Police fear people will try the herbs because they are legal.  But being legal doesn’t mean it doesn’t have side effects. “People expect this to mimic marijuana, but it’s sometimes 10 times more potent than marijuana,” says Gambill.

With it’s affects possibly more potent than marijuana, why is it legal?

For one, it says right on the label the product is not for consumption.  Plus, Indiana lawmakers haven’t yet acted to make the chemically altered herbs illegal, at least not yet.

Kersey says, “I think there will probably be some bills that will be offered in the legislature in the next session and, if they’re not, I’d be happy to offer one because I think it’s something that should be addressed.”

But without more evidence that the legal weed contains something illegal, all law enforcement can do is investigate the craze and hope lawmakers don’t act too late.

“The professor that developed this from Clemson University said using this is like playing Russian Roulette,” explains Gambill.  “It was never designed to be in the public.”

Illinois recently passed a law making using and selling K-2 illegal and while it appears to be legal in Indiana for the moment, some in law enforcement say, “not so fast.”  It may be illegal already.

More Tomorrow As I Conclude My Special Report:  Inside The K-2 Craze.

August 16, 2010 Posted by | News & Current Events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment