Local Participants Graduate from Drug Court

By: Shannon Smith
By: Shannon Smith
 While some people are starting their road to recovery through Winnebago County Drug Court, several others are hitting a milestone on their journey to overcome their addiction.

MGN Online

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- While some people are starting their road to recovery through Winnebago County Drug Court, several others are hitting a milestone on their journey to overcome their addiction.

"I just always thought that was my destiny to do drugs the rest of my life. I lost just about everything, my children, my family, I just didn't think I was worth it."

Kelli Harrington decided to end her heroin addiction almost 3 years ago after she says she hit rock bottom.

"Waking up sick everyday, I was just so tired and not knowing anything to do and not believing I could do it," said Kelli.

Now two and a half years sober, Kelli's one of more than a dozen people graduating from Winnebago County Drug Court, a treatment program for people who commit non-violent drug crimes.

"I knew that this one day would finally come."

Graduates shared their tearful struggles to overcome their addictions and received a certificate ending their probation.

"This is probably the most rewarding part of the whole job, is seeing these people make this accomplishment finally graduating from drug court. It is a very intense probation," said Doug Dirksen, an Adult Probation Officer.

An intense journey, former drug court graduate Libra Martin says she knows all too well. She says her kids motivated her to turn her life around when she graduated almost five years ago.

"At the time my children were much younger and its the cries you hear and I knew that I was capable of living a better lifestyle," said Martin.

A healthier lifestyle Kelli says she's ready to live on her road to recovery. "People think that drug court is a set-up. It honestly saved my life because it believed in me until i could believe in myself."

Probation officers say many participants who were unemployed when they started the program now have full-time jobs. So far more than 500 participants have graduated from drug court.


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