"I do have a very bad alcohol problem. I do have a mental problem."
That's what convicted drug dealer Albert W. Figley, 33, told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway during his recent sentencing hearing.
"Because I'm a little messed up in the head, they wouldn't accept me," Figley said about being rejected by Teen Challenge officials.
Teen Challenge is a Christian-based program for people of all ages with life-controlling addictions and takes 12 to 14 months to complete. Attorneys said Figley has struggled with mental health and substance abuse issues and his "lengthy adult criminal history" includes alcohol-related misdemeanors, but also an out-of-state felony conviction.
Figley, in late April, pleaded guilty to trafficking in hydrocodone.
"It's a sad situation. ... It was his own medication," said Huron County Public Defender David Longo, referring to the Dec. 13 controlled drug buy.
Norwalk police officers seized the drugs that were sold, Longo said, and then also seized the rest of Figley's medication to have it tested as well.
The defendant must reimburse police $80 to cover the cost of drug testing. Also as part of his three years of intensive probation, Figley must obtain his GED, continue undergoing psychological counseling, take his medication as prescribed and was fined $250.
"You need to have some significant substance abuse counseling," Conway told Figley.
The judge also said the defendant he needs to have some skills to make him employable, so spending four to six months in community-based corrections facility would be helpful. A CBCF is a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education. Conway told Figley that misusing or selling his own medication hasn't worked out well for him.
If Figley violates his probation, he faces one year in prison. He will remain in the Huron County Jail until he is screened for possible acceptance into a CBCF.