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Drug Court aims to heal addicts, get them back on track


For Gracie Barfoot, the road to recovery has been a long one. Her addiction to opiates landed her in jail for ten long days. A year later, she never imagined she would be clean, and happy. “I would shake, and tremble. I was just so afraid, and it’s just gotten me out of my skin,” she said.

District Court Judge James H Faison III said, “This is a long journey, a long journey, and because of that to see them come through, it’s commendable, and extremely rewarding.”

Barfoot graduated from New Hanover County Drug Court; an achievement that took will power and strength. Drug Court aims to heal drug addicts, in ways the prison system simply cannot.

It costs the taxpayer about $25,000 a year to put a drug offender behind bars, but to put them in Drug Court only costs them about $2,000.

Eighty percent of drug offenders abuse drugs or alcohol. Eighty percent of those people commit new crimes after they get out of prison, proving the system has little impact on recovery. For Gracie, ten days in jail was enough to shake her up, and encourage her to get back on track.

“Don’t quit, don’t give up, because there is always a silver lining on every dark cloud,” Gracie said.

Drug Court is a state funded program. Friday night, state representatives are reviewing the budget. Drug Court is one of the programs they are looking over. Participants and program organizers hope the state continues it’s funding.

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videoIt was not your average day at the New Hanover County Courthouse. Drug offenders were praised and recognized for their hard work in overcoming addiction.

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Associated poll

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