CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – One of the more effective ways of combatting the opioid crisis has been the creation of drug courts. On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia hosted a graduation ceremony for 16 recovering drug addicts.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room – and understandably so. Graduates shared their emotional stories about how drug court changed their life.

“It was something that wasn’t easy, I still take it one day at a time. It just means a lot to make it through and I got a lot to look forward to for the rest of my life.” exclaimed drug court graduate Travis Atkins.

Some of the stories were shocking. Steven Jarrell shared his journey of how he almost lost his family to addiction.

“What brought me here today was just that I was actively using. I didn’t follow any rules, I didn’t follow any laws. I did what I wanted and I committed a crime and got in trouble. This was my chance to turn it around.” said Jarrell, drug court graduate.

Thursday’s ceremony marked the beginning of the graduates’ new lives.

“I look forward to being a productive member of society and just living my life.” explained Atkins.

For more information about West Virginia Treatment Courts, click here.