Drug court is a treatment program that is associated with the local courts of a county. The name drug court often comes off as an inappropriate name, as it elicits the idea of punishment. Many in Rutherford county remark that the program should be called drug treatment court. The judicial court of a county will refer candidates to the program, in which they may be accepted to treat a possible addiction (which is related to a recent criminal charge).
Other addiction treatment programs are voluntary, in which candidates can leave at any time and typically last from 21 to 28 days. Candidates in the drug court program see a judge ever week to report on the progress made during the program. Supervision, which probation would normally provide, is provided too, where therapy may last for a minimum of 12 months.
Typical candidates for drug court are not first-time offenders. They are people who have an extensive criminal background related to drugs. Many candidates have had at least three violations and would either serve time in prison or attend the program. In order to be considered for drug court, the offender must have non-violent charges of any kind. This includes violence and weapons charges. Candidates for the program are subject to a lengthy assessment to determine whether or not they are truly addicted to drugs or alcohol.
In Rutherford County, the graduation rate hovers around 50%. Program personnel do report that there is a significant amount of relapse after the program and many individuals end up returning to the program. Many candidates sign an after-treatment contract, once completing the program which enables them to remain in the program for an additional six months.
Regardless of trends in addiction to painkillers and other hard drugs, the majority of drug court candidates are marijuana users. The program personnel report that although many consider marijuana to be non-addictive, the vast majority of the people in the program either started using marijuana before they turned to harder drugs, or do claim that it is an addiction.
For those who opt to attend drug court over serving time in jail, at completion there is an added bonus that charges are dropped the first time. In Rutherford county and many other counties alike, there has been much improvement seen in individuals who successfully complete the program. Re-arrest rates amongst individuals who completed drug court were just 22% in Rutherford County while the re-arrest rate for addicted individuals who did not complete or participate in the program is considerably higher. Drug court is a relatively new program in Rutherford County, and currently still expanding to accommodate more candidates. It is expected that long-term addiction treatment program can expedite the change in individuals to pursue a healthier and crime-free lifestyle, and is also expected to significantly lower jail costs in the long run.
Whether or not an individual is successful in the drug court program often lies in their will power, desire, and belief that remaining drug-free is the better option. Drug court personnel are no strangers to candidates who are completing the program just to avoid being locked-up in jail, or not committed to remain sober after the program's completion. Such a small percentage of candidates are the ones who generate the relapse and re-arrest rate. However, there are a large percentage of people who complete the program and are grateful for the œforced rehabilitation. It always ends up changing their lives for the better.
A Center for Addiction Recovery prepares each person for a successful recovery with an aftercare program that includes a support system, AA or NA meetings, and personal accountability. Intensive Outpatient or Outpatient Treatment may be recommended upon successful completion of the program. For more information on substance abuse and drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs and services, contact us at:
Center for Addiction Recovery “ Addiction Treatment Center: 1-800-570-4562
Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Recovery