NASHVILLE, GA (WALB) - As Stacy Zanders sat in the courtroom at the Berrien County Courthouse Thursday afternoon, it wasn't because she had been arrested for drugs again, in fact it was quite the opposite.
She was celebrating her graduation from Berrien County's relatively newly formed drug court and celebrating being nearly 20 months drug free.
"I didn't think I was gonna make it at the beginning," said Zanders.
But she did. And not only did she make it, she did not violate the rules of the program even once since she started on June 7th, 2013. That includes passing over 300 drug tests.
"You have set a good example for everyone to set their eyes upon," said Bill Watson, a probation officer with the state department of probation. "Again, I want to congratulate you from a probation standpoint as well as for all the other team members."
Family, friends, members of the drug court team, District Attorney Dick Perryman, and even the judge that had seen Stacy in court on drug related charges many times before were their Thursday to commend Stacy for her dedication.
"It means the world to me. They won't never know how much it means to me. It means a lot," said Zanders. She said she never really thought about quitting during the program, and she said that desire to get clean may have saved her life.
"In 2012, on account of my drug use," Zanders recalled, "I was in a hospital and I about died. I was on a ventilator."
Now that she's clean, she plans to continue to share her success story in hopes of helping others like her achieve the same result. "If I can help one person out of a thousand, then I feel good about it."