EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – The DWI Intervention and Treatment Program celebrated National Drug Court Month with a graduation ceremony at the El Paso County Courthouse on Thursday.

The ceremony recognized over 800 people whose lives have been transformed by the treatment/support that the program provides.

Treatment courts across the nation are holding special events to celebrate National Drug Court Month.

Judge Robert Anchondo said drug courts and other treatment courts are considered the most effective strategy for reducing addiction, crime, and recidivism while saving taxpayer dollars.

With their friends and families in attendance this graduation honored those who have completed the intensive program through comprehensive substance-use-disorder-treatment, close supervision, and accountability.

National Drug Court Month is coordinated by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). Treatment courts across the nation are advocating to ensure continued federal and state funding for these effective, evidence-based programs.

“When these people get better and graduate you see a bolt of freshness, lightness, go back to school, and work on education and more options available to them,” Anchondo said.

Some participants told KTSM they felt like they were getting their lives back upon finishing the program.

“Due to my addictions, I lost a lot of things, family; thanks to this program I regained relationships with my children,” Armando Rubio Jr. said.

There are nearly 4,000 treatment courts in the United States, annually serving 150,000 people. Since 1989, treatment courts have served more than 1.5 million people and saved billions of tax dollars.

For local and breaking news, sports, weather alerts, video and more, download the FREE KTSM 9 News App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.