CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Tara Boyd hugged her mother and kneeled down to give her daughters a kiss before entering the courtroom.
"She's supported me through everything," Boyd, 29, said of her mother Debbie Nickles, who cared for her three daughters while she struggled to beat a prescription pill addiction.
Boyd, along with Tim Anderson, Robert Hill, Rose Means, Rebecca Wright and Brandon Wilfong, all graduated from Kanawha County's drug court program Thursday.
"This has helped my daughter get back on track," Debbie Nickles said. "It's a miracle."
The drug court acts as a diversionary program for people who are addicted to drugs and have been charged with relatively minor crimes. In lieu of jail time, participants take an extensive testing, counseling and community service program run by the court system to help them control their substance-abuse problems. If they complete the program, prosecutors agree to dismiss their criminal charges.
Kanawha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey, who leads the drug court, said during Thursday's graduation ceremony that the court has graduated 44 participants since it began in 2009. Less than 14 percent of those participants were arrested again after they completed the program, she said.
In all, the program has saved the county $2.6 million on its regional jail bill, Bailey said.
However, Anderson said the financial savings isn't the most important aspect.