Graduating And Making A Change

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It was a special moment for five young adults from the West Central Regional Drug Court Program in Parkersburg Friday evening.

The drug court held a graduation ceremony honoring Nickolas Artherhults, Natosha Patterson, Kristen Spencer, Whitli Brown and Thomas Smith.

West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice, Brent Benjamin, was there to speak on the behalf of the five graduates.

The program is one of 14 adult drug courts serving 30 counties in West Virginia.

Drug court participants are substance-abuse or drug-addicted offenders.

They receive treatment instead of being prosecuted in court.

"What we do is, we fix the problem rather than punish the problem. And by turning the people around and become productive tax paying members of society, they become moms and dads again, they become sons and daughters again," says Chief Justice Benjamin.

Only nine percent of graduates from the drug court program resort back to drug abuse.

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