Mandating effective treatment for drug offenders

Drug court mandates a year-long supervised drug or alcohol treatment program in an attempt to attain long-term recovery.The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) reports that as many as 75 percent of those graduating from adult criminal drug court will not be rearrested for committing further crimes within their lifetimes.Often, a substance addict may be in denial that a problem exists, and there may be no internal motivation to seek help voluntarily.Many times, an outside source or pressure is needed to facilitate the initiation of a treatment program, and this outside pressure may come in the form of a legal mandate.For example, if you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI), public drunkenness, or underage drinking, you may be required to participate in an alcohol treatment program.The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that one of the primary reasons people enter into alcohol treatment programs is due to a court-mandate, with as many as 36 percent of those entering treatment in 2002 doing so under direction from the criminal justice system.

Still other crimes are committed while under the influence of drugs.Someone suffering from a substance abuse dependency may spend most of their time seeking drugs or alcohol, as well as using and recovering from the effects of the substance abused.Substance abuse is perpetuated regardless of any negative health, emotional or social consequences.Each drug court or state will have different requirements and program parameters.There are 2,500 drug courts operating independently in the United States, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

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