Flagler County Drug Court Foundation: Bringing HOPE to the Community

The Flagler County Drug Court Foundation has been around for 14 years now, and they are the first organization to get a grant to provide free Narcan.  The help people who are in drug court to get them back on right path with employment and finishing their education if necessary. They help them with everything from starting a business to life skills training. The foundation works hand in hand with the Drug Court, but as a foundation they can do what the court cannot.

I sat down with Michael B. Feldbauer and we talked about the foundation and everything they do. He told us that we are between the 5th – 10th highest drug overdose county in the state. At one point he told us that we were the number one highest overdose death county in the state. Michael told us how the majority of those involved in the board have experiences of some sort with drugs, for example one couple on the board of the foundation lost their daughter to an overdose. “This problem spans all races, sexes, social classes, and so on,” Michael told us.

Flagler county Drug Court volunteers at an event booth

“Because we are certified, we can come to any business, church, organization and train you on how to use Narcan” Michael told us. Michael told us how one of the things he has learned over the years is that some people are more prone to addictions than others, and that one doesn’t know until they try something. “You can’t separate mental health and addiction. I had to learn a lot when I first got involved. I used to think it was a choice they made. I know better now” said Michael. “These people,” Michael continued, “are someone’s parent, child, sibling, spouse.”

We really wanted to talk about some of the challenges, rewards and the hard moments of being involved in this particular organization. “Time. Finding enough volunteers to help, getting sponsors, marketing, getting the word out.” He went on to say that many volunteers still work, and he himself works part time to help make a little extra. He also went on to say that he feels Flagler County is such a giving community and there are so many good organizations to choose from.

“Giving people a second chance, saving lives by providing Narcan, saving lives by being there for people when they are in need. When I see people changing people for the better, there is nothing more rewarding” Michael told us when asked about the biggest reward for working with this organization. “On the other side, the hardest part is when someone doesn’t succeed, because they don’t all make it. We get close to the people we work with, and when they don’t make it, it is always hard.”

Currently the Flagler County Drug Court Foundation has a few annual events. One of which is the Ride for Recovery every October, the other is a golf tournament in the spring.

Pastor Silano is how Michael got involved in recovery. Pastor Silano had one of the first drug recovery houses in Flagler County and Michael was the administrator for that. “I would like to see everybody come to recovery, total recovery through Christ, but that isn’t how it works” Michael continued. Community awareness and involvement and understanding are all part of changing Flagler County for the better.

To find out more about the Flagler County Drug Court Foundation, you can visit their website here.

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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