DRUG COURT - IS IT FOR YOU?
Since the first drug court was opened in Florida in the late 1980's, this method of addressing drug-related crimes has grown in popularity in courthouses all over the United States. You see it on the news and read about it in the papers regularly.
Is drug court really effective? The answer lies in the nature of the question. There are those who suggest that drug court is only one more cost-reducing method that doesn't really work. Of course, judges have to do something with all these convicts, and drug courts save the system a lot of money: it costs only a few thousand dollars to shuffle someone through drug court, while putting them in prison costs tens of thousands per year. If you believe that drug addiction is not a crime, then it's all a waste of tax dollars, anyway.
As to its effectiveness (which is usually measured by recidivism - completely the wrong approach, in our opinion), it's a toss-up. We believe there is no long-term, reliable statistical proof that drug court does anything for anybody except feed the beast. If you want to get clean, you are going to get clean. Period.
Typically, you need to meet several criteria in order to be accepted in drug court: no violent crimes and no drug dealing charges. Different courts have different ideas about what works; some want offenders who have never been to treatment, while other only want people who have previously failed at treatment.
In drug court, you really are turning your will and your life over to the judge. If you are lucky, you will have a judge who understand the nature of addiction & alcoholism and the nature of recovery. You will be tested at random for the presence of banned substances; a dirty test can send you straight to jail. Oddly enough, a dirty test can also be ignored. Can you say "capricious"?
If you are in drug court, you would do well to hire a Sober Companion. If you can afford our service, we can help ensure that you do NOT go to drug court and give them a dirty test. You do NOT want to test dirty, because once you have been expelled from drug court, you are usually headed back to jail. A Sober Companion can help make sure you show up on time, with all your paperwork signed, and completely free of drugs & alcohol.
Drug Court and Residential Treatment
Quite often, a client might be in a treatment center or a sober living house and be involved in drug court. Most facilities will cooperate with the court in making sure you have adequate transportation to and from court dates and probation visits.
In cases where you are having a difficult time getting to and from your drug court appointments, you can use Sober Champion's Sober Escort service. We will get you there and get you home safe and sound and sober.
Since these drug court programs are designed to involve multiple stages, you will get additional freedoms you reach each stage. These are risky times for real addicts, and we suggest that, at every success, you check in more regularly with your Sober Coach and other caring professionals.
There is no national standard for drug court structure, which leaves comparison between courts difficult to judge. Some argue that until a national standard is devised it would be almost impossible to determine how successful a drug court is at reducing drug use within a community. Until drug courts establish performance benchmarks, determine the best practices for drug court programs, and develop standards and accreditation procedures which can be used to determine whether a particular drug court is meeting the standards set forth, criticisms such as these will continue.
At Sober Champion, our job is not to evaluate and assess the Drug Court System. Our job is to help you stay clean from drugs and alcohol so that, no matter your opinion of court, you will be prepared to succeed, get through the process, and maintain your freedom.