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Drug Courts – Addiction Treatment and Alcohol Rehabilitation. Part One

Did you know that most people addicted to alcohol and other drugs have a greatly minimised perception of how severe their problem is and are pressured into drug addiction treatment?
Critically, it’s been proven that even people forced into rehabilitation by family, friends, employers, even drug court ordered to attend treatment, can experience a successful addiction recovery.
In fact these forms of external pressure can actually help to improve the drug addiction treatment outcome.
Over the years alternative methods of accessing drug abuse treatment have been introduced. More professional chemical dependency counsellors are being trained to facilitate interventions.
The aim is to raise the ‘rock-bottom’ of those addicted to drugs and alcohol; using any means possible to leverage the existing pressure, forcing the patient to not only access but to stay engaged in treatment.
The consequences of drug addiction are far-reaching, often leaving families shattered and their drug addicted loved ones facing impossible odds. Using a court order (the Marchman Act in Florida, USA and The Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Act (Act 20 of 1992) in South Africa) may be a useful tool to get your loved one into addiction rehabilitation.
Drug Courts have been introduced to many countries with much success. In Drug Court, various stakeholders collaborate to bring sufficient pressure to bear upon the addicted person to ensure that they comply with drug addiction treatment and testing orders.
This pressure that if addicts don’t comply with treatment expectations, aftercare plans and test ‘clean’ at random drug tests, is immensely useful motivation!
For addicts trapped in a cycle of drug abuse, largely uncaring for the havoc they cause their families and the communities they live in, bringing very tangible, concrete consequences for addictive and other anti-social behavior is a way of heightening the patients awareness and demanding accountability.
The success of the Drug Courts depend on a close link between the justice departments and the drug addiction treatment providers.
These links include appropriate individualized treatment plans; monitoring and rewarding of progress by the courts via regular case management meetings, consistent court appearances, and compulsory drug testing to strengthen accountability.
Recovery from drug addiction is challenging. A Drug Court offers offenders the opportunity to participate in a recovery program rather than spending time behind bars.
Success Factors for Drug Courts
The following factors have been found to cause success in Drug Courts:

A good judicial leadership team including many of the relevant stakeholders
A partnership between the judge and the other members of the team with each keeping their professional integrity
An understanding of drug addiction / alcoholism and recovery by all of the court team
A manual that provides consistency and efficiency
Clear criteria for eligibility and fair evaluation of possible participant patients
Comprehensive assessment of potential participant drug addicts and alcoholics
Informed individuals with written consent after being given legal advice before programme participation
Timely referral to drug addiction treatment and alcohol rehabilitation
Consistent consequences for non-compliance during the programme and regular rewards for programme participation
Continual evaluation and willingness to make amendments where necessary
Sustainable programme funding
Changes in core substantive and procedural law if necessary

If you or someone you love has developed a drug addiction or alcoholism please call one of our treatment coordinators today and we can help you to find appropriate detox clinics and rehabilitation centre’s that are ready to provide top quality care.

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