How Does Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment Work?
If you’re wondering how to get court-ordered addiction treatment for an addicted person, securing treatment through this route can happen one of two ways:
1. People close to the addicted individual can turn him or her in for drug abuse or possession.
This is a difficult course of action and may cause rifts in the relationship between the addicted individual and the person turning them in. However, turning in a loved one may be necessary to help the person find addiction treatment before the effects of addiction become dangerous, as they often do.
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If turning a person in is the chosen route, it’s a good idea to connect with local authorities to ensure that treatment will be part of the punitive measures taken against the loved one prior to turning them in.
2. People close to the addicted individual can get coerced or legally mandated treatment.
Before legally pursuing a loved one, it may be a less complicated and heartrending process to attempt to get legally mandated treatment. In this case, someone close to the person will submit a form to a local court system stating reasons they believe their loved one needs treatment.
To qualify for court-ordered treatment this way, a person must meet certain criteria which differ by state, but usually include that he or she: has no control over drug use, abuses substances daily, experiences mental and/or physical issues due to drug use and is a harm to self or others due to addiction.
First, it is important to contact local authorities to see which criteria must be met for coerced treatment in the state of residence. Once a judge agrees to the order, the loved one will be taken into legal custody and evaluated to see if he or she needs involuntary treatment. At this point, the decision is left up to the authorities, including evaluations by physicians, psychiatrists, counselors and the judge. If treatment is deemed necessary, the order will be made and the person will be moved into a rehab program.
Is Court-Ordered Drug And Alcohol Treatment Effective?
Making the decision to pursue an order that will legally mandate a loved one to seek treatment isn’t easy, and one of the biggest concerns is the effectiveness of the program. Whether a person is placed in treatment voluntarily or is coerced, the factor which most helps determine the effectiveness of treatment is personal motivation.
A person must be motivated to overcome substance abuse and manage their addiction. Inpatient treatment programs are incredibly effective in teaching addicted individuals the coping skills and techniques necessary to face addiction long-term, as it is an illness which requires daily management. However, a person must be motivated throughout treatment in order to take what they need from it to apply later in recovery (after completing treatment).
As it turns out, the act of ordering someone to addiction treatment tends to highly motivate them to complete the program and remain substance-free, much research has found. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports, “most studies suggest that outcomes for those who are legally pressured to enter treatment are as good or better than outcomes for those who entered treatment without legal pressure.”
Excellent rates of completion of addiction treatment programs by those who were legally mandated extends to both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. One study which looked at several reports of treatment outcomes states, “it has been firmly established that treatment completion is one of the best predictors of treatment outcomes.”
In general, the NIDA reports that people who get into and remain in treatment until completion will enjoy successful recovery outcomes, including reduced crime rates, reduced and/or stopped substance abuse and improved occupational functioning.
Benefits Of Court-Ordered Rehab Programs
Court-ordered drug rehab programs are successful when individuals within them accept their need for treatment and engage in active participation in their own recoveries. In addition, people in court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment programs may reap many benefits, including:
- Acquiring the life skills, stress management techniques, and coping mechanisms necessary to maintain a substance-free life. Most rehab programs incorporate these key components in addition to detox, medication-assisted treatment, counseling and other treatments for a well-rounded recovery.
- Structured environment, free from triggers and stressors. Often, what keeps people in a cycle of endless substance abuse is a trigger-heavy environment surrounded by people who enable abuse. Private drug and alcohol rehab centers are often remotely located, affording both privacy and tranquility for complete healing.
- Well-rounded treatment approach. Each person who comes to treatment comes with their own specific needs. The best treatment programs offer a blend of traditional treatments, holistic healing methods and alternative treatments for a comprehensive recovery plan.
- Ongoing progress assessments. Rehab programs should always include ongoing clinical assessments to ensure a person is healthy, safe and on track with recovery goals.
Risks Of Skipping Court-Ordered Treatment
What happens if a person skips out on their court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment program? Failing to finish a legally mandated treatment program is a serious offense. Sending someone to court-ordered treatment is often in lieu of a more severe punishment, such as fines and jail time, and people who do not complete treatment may face these sentences instead.
Court-ordered addiction treatment is often a corrective measure to help individuals who are first-time and/or non-violent offenders. They may receive the treatment sentence with fines, which may be waived if they complete the program. Should they not complete the program, they will be sent back through the court system, and the presiding judge may provide a harsher ruling when he or she knows the person failed to finish treatment, though this is not a guarantee.
Overall, receiving court-ordered addiction treatment as a sentence can be both an opportunity for growth and healing and a chance to avoid a criminal record.
Seeking Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment
Which court-ordered addiction treatment program a person enters may be up to the drug court, but often the individual is responsible for seeking treatment, meaning they must select a drug or alcohol rehab center. Most private rehab centers comply with individuals who have been court-ordered to enter a rehab program.
Vertava Health Texas has experience treating individuals who have been court-ordered to enter a rehab program and provides them with everything they need to build a foundation for their recovery. Inpatient programs incorporate counseling, behavioral therapy and medical detoxification when needed, and individuals can also seek wilderness or adventure therapy, medication-assisted therapy and even trauma grounding.
People in court-ordered rehab programs need support, a welcoming environment, evidence-based treatments and a program that meets their individual needs, and they can find it all at Vertava Health Texas, formerly The Treehouse Rehab.