Thirty people in Jackson County have something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, their sobriety and the accomplishment of graduating from drug court.
"This program changed my life 100%. I mean, I come from a worthless, piece of crap drug addict, to the person I am today," said Allen McCrary, drug court graduate.
McCrary credits the Jackson County Drug Court program for changing his life.
"I've never had a relationship with my family, clean and sober. I've never had a relationship with clean and sober, and that's just a blessing all on its own," said McCrary.
Due to coronavirus, the ceremony for the thirty graduates of the program was held outside at Jackson County Park. People could drive in and listen to the ceremony on the radio.
Honorable Judge John Graham says this year's graduating class is particularly special due to the obstacles they have had to overcome because of the pandemic.
"It's always a celebratory occasion, but today is even more so because we've had a rather challenging year in 2020 to say the least and people have had to adapt in drug court, drug court been done differently this year from the ways we've done it in the past and everybody has jumped in there and given it their best shot," said Graham.
Graduate Patricia Wooten says she's thankful for the program that has given her the best gift, self respect.
"I got trust from my parents, my family. I've got respect back. Thankful, just for everything. The little things seem to matter a lot now," said Wooten.
McCrary says he's grateful for the program for giving him even more reasons not to fall back into his old ways.
"Thankful for my recovery, thankful for my drug court peers, my family, the relationship I have with my family, most of all, the relationship I have with God these days," said McCrary.
With 30 graduates this year, this is the largest graduating class for the program since its inception. The graduates also had a combined 19,731 days of sobriety.