Addicts Say Court Program 'Saved Our Lives'
David Every Senior, an Army veteran, hadn't been sober for years.
"I just hit bottom. I had nothing. No bank account. No family support," he said.
Crack cocaine was his drug. For Mikey Kline, there wasn't just one.
"I thought throughout the years that I was quitting things but all I was doing was replacing one drug for another drug," Kline said.
He started using at age 14. He was 85 pounds lighter when on meth.
"Menace. I guess I was a menace," he said. "I was worth nothing to life. Now I have something to contribute."
But now, they're graduates of a program in Judge Chuck Cerny's court.
"Oh, I love it. I love it. It saved my life. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about that. It saved my life," Kline said.
Every has now been sober for the longest amount of time in 20 years. 27 months and 14 days.
"First of all, we're saving taxpayer dollars. Each and every one of those 80 participants out there would otherwise have to be incarcerated," Cerny said. "Maybe you could consider it a collateral benefit if you want to, but individual human beings having a better life than they had when they were in the midst of active addiction that's worth fighting for."
The judge gets close with participants and they get help.
"I can actually be a member of society versus a disappointment to my family," Kline said.
Now, there are two new success stories on the road of recovery.
"I know that I have self-worth," Every said. "I know that I'm a productive citizen in society. I get up and go to work. Pay my bills."