By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It is a tragedy that plays out every day, lives disintegrating in drug addiction. But a former Philadelphia Health Department worker who turned to crime and used her position to help distribute a small amount of prescription medicine to sustain her drug habit, has gotten a break at sentencing.

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The defendant acknowledges her arrest was the best thing that could have happened to her.

Forty-eight-year-old Maria Josey had worked for the city for over 20 years, then cocaine abuse nearly cost her everything including her job and pension.

She has told Federal Judge Cynthia Rufe it was destroying her life and her two daughter’s lives. Judge Rufe wondered about this aberration in the defendant’s life.

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Judge-What were you out of your mind? I mean, I have to ask this question, what, was it the cocaine because many people are addicted and they don’t turn to crime.

Josey-It was definitely the cocaine. I was in denial. I was in denial, I can say that. I didn’t realize I was an addict.

Josey, now clean for a year according to her attorney, could have faced a couple of years in prison, but the judge, finding Josey has shown more promise to benefit society, has sentenced her to time already served, several weeks, and three years of supervised release with drug testing.

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