TALKING ROCK, Ga. — Not long before Tony and April Davis met, he was facing up to 60 years in prison for robbery and drug charges.
April’s young children had been taken from her and placed in foster care. She was also facing jail time for drug use and child neglect.
Neither seemed like good candidates for eHarmony.
Tony recalls his parents fighting constantly and physical violence being commonplace. He felt awkward and out of place, a social misfit. That all changed at age 15 when he began experimenting with alcohol and drugs. He got married and had kids in his early 20s, but the marriage was short-lived due to his increasing drug and alcohol use. As his methamphetamine use began to spiral out of control, Tony often broke the law.
Recently Tony, 50, April, 40, and their two children, Austin Ramsey, 16, and Sara Ramsey, 12, spoke to the JJIE about their past struggles and how ultimately the Pickens County Drug Court played a major role in bringing the family together and setting them on the road to a new life.
April spent much of her youth struggling with addiction. She began with alcohol and marijuana; by 18, she had tried methamphetamine for the first time. Despite this, she always had regular employment. She had three children from her first marriage.
April's two younger children, Austin and Sara, remember clearly the day they were taken away from her.
April remembers how and why she ended up in Pickens County Drug Court.
Tony remembers a huge feeling of relief when he was finally taken into custody.
Drug Court mandates that participants attend several drug classes each week, hold down a full-time job, attend Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings and take drug tests at random. If Tony and April hadn’t comply with the court’s strict rules they could have been kicked out and forced to serve out their sentences in prison.
Both Tony and April credit their faith in God with helping them stay clean and turn their lives around. They began going to church, reading the Bible and praying on a regular basis. Both are now very involved in their children's lives.
The walls of their home have Bible verses painted on them, something Tony and April say serves as a constant reminder of how far they’ve come.