A new graduate nervously addressed Licking County Municipal Court Judge David Stansbury and the Licking County Intervention for Treatment - or LIFT - Drug Court during her presentation after months in the program. LIFT is for offenders who qualify for specialized drug treatment programming while on community control supervision.
Andrea Morrison watches from the audience, remembering her own drug court graduation just months ago.
"It's nice for the reminder of where I've come from and how far I have come, because there are times that I forget how bad it really was because how dramatically a difference it made in my life and how different it is today," she said.
The difference is striking for those who know her. Before she went through drug court, Morrison's brother, Michael, got so tired of seeing her passed out and the problems her addiction caused in the family that he cut off contact with her. Today, he chokes back tears as he explains how proud he is of what his sister has accomplished to turn her life around.
"I don't know the success rate. I don't care if it's one percent, because I got my one percent," Michael Morrison said.
"You really do change lives. You take people who are broken and hopeless and feel powerless over their place in life and you give them a chance to fix all that," Judge Stansbury said of the drug court program.
Morrison is glad that Judge Stansbury and the LIFT treatment team took the chance on her.
"It absolutely saved my life. I am forever grateful. I never could have imagined my life like what it is today, and I want that for someone else," Morrison said.