May was National Drug Court Month, 31 days dedicated to shedding light on the high success rate of adult drug courts. In fact, drug courts are six times more likely to keep offenders in treatment long enough for them to get better (source). Despite their effectiveness, many people are still not aware of drug courts. If you want to help spread the word about these life-changing programs, here’s some information to guide your conversations.
National Drug Court Month
About Drug Courts
Drug courts take a problem-solving approach to help drug-offenders receive the treatment they need. When released from jail, many drug offenders tend to fall into their old habits, only to start committing the same crimes while under the influence of the same drugs. In order to help people find freedom from their addictions, drug courts use intensive treatment, case management, drug testing, supervision, and status hearings.
Addictions are complicated. Along with a drug or alcohol problem, can come mental health issues, child abuse, and divorce. Drug courts take a holistic approach to help clients turn their lives around by teaching clients how to overcome other burdens related to addiction. Statistically, these programs work better than jail or prison and better than probation/treatment alone (source).
An important aspect of drug courts is ongoing and frequent drug testing. Typically, a drug court participant must provide eight urinalysis tests per month. Participants don’t know when to expect the tests, so they are not able to prepare beforehand. Each participant must call a toll-free number every day to see whether or not they have to give a sample.
Drug courts have numerous benefits. They reduce crime rates among drug offenders who are released from prison, restore families, keep our streets safe, and even save taxpayers money. Sharing statistics about the success rate of drug courts is a great way to rally even more supporters in honor of National Drug Court Month. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) gathered extensive research and found the following to be true:
- Drug courts reduce crime more than any other program. After reviewing scientific literature, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that drug courts significantly reduce crime compared to the alternatives.
- According to a study about drug court supervision, the abuse of methamphetamine was reduced by more than 50 percent for clients in a drug court program compared to clients without drug court supervision
- Parents in a drug court program are more likely to attend and complete treatment.
- Reunification rates are 50 percent higher for drug court clients and their children.
- Drug courts save taxpayers money. Studies show that the average cost savings are $4,000–$12,000 per client.
- If drug courts were expanded to treat all currently eligible individuals, these programs would save $2.14 for every $1.00 invested, totaling $1.17 billion annually.
Types of Treatment Courts
Several types of treatment courts exist because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for addiction. Here’s an overview of the different types of drug courts:
- Drug Court: For felons over the age of 17 with an addiction.
- Juvenile Drug Court: For offenders under the age of 17 with an addiction.
- Family Drug Courts: For parents with a history of substance abuse and child abuse. This court works to provide children with a safe, stable living environment.
- DWI Courts: For repeat DWI offenders with addiction or severe alcohol abuse. This court works to identify the root cause of the problem to evoke a behavioral change.
- Veterans Courts: This court specializes in providing services to address the unique needs of veterans.
Tomo Drug Testing partners with treatment courts to create accurate, efficient, and cost-effective testing solutions customized for the unique needs of any judicial agency. We have experience working with Drug, DWI, Veterans, Mental Health, Family, Children’s Services, and similar adult and juvenile courts. For more information, give us a call today at 888-379-7697or contact us online. We would be happy to help!