Court Mandated Clients and Documentation

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    Court Mandated Clients and Documentation

    Millions of people in the U.S. suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. Not only does substance use disorder (SUD) directly affect the individual, it causes a ripple effect throughout that person’s family, community, and society. Unfortunately, people who are addicted to drugs can’t see past the addiction, and they will refuse to attend rehab on their own. Many times, their disorder creates a host of legal issues for them. Sometimes, people with SUD may be ordered by the criminal court system to attend a rehab facility.

    What is court-ordered rehab?
    Court-ordered rehab is often used as a valid form of alternative sentencing. In the past, addiction was seen as a moral failing and treated as a criminal matter. But recent scientific and medical breakthroughs are finding that addiction and substance use disorder are public health issues. Increasingly, addiction and substance abuse are being treated with rehabilitation methods, not with incarceration.

    Unfortunately, alcohol and drug addiction often compel individuals to commit crimes while under the influence or to obtain the substance. Estimates indicate that 80% of all offenses that lead to jail in the U.S. stem from drug or alcohol abuse. Some of the most prevalent drug and alcohol-fueled crimes include domestic violence, DUIs, and property crimes. Furthermore, half of all jail and prison inmates meet the criteria for clinical addiction.

    What is the goal of court-ordered rehab?
    The U.S. prison population has exploded with the rise and prevalence of illegal drugs and addiction. Jail and prison don’t fix the underlying issue for prison inmates, and that issue is drug addiction. By issuing court-ordered rehab, arrested individuals can avoid jail time and get the help they truly need to live a life free from crime and substance abuse.

    It’s true that almost any court in the U.S. can order a drug-related offender to go to rehab, but in some jurisdictions, there are special courts that are explicitly designed to handle drug offenses. The goal of these special courts is to improve outcomes for the offender. The hope of the criminal justice system and drug court is to influence offenders positively by requiring their participation in a treatment facility or a mental health center.

    Why is court-ordered rehab crucial for society?

    Substance abuse disorder is a complex health condition. Many factors contribute to substance abuse and addiction disorders. Science is only now beginning to understand how deep the problem goes. And the problem includes a myriad of factors that stem from biological, genetic, emotional, and societal complexities. Forced abstinence from drugs or alcohol due to incarceration does not address the root of the problem, which is a substance abuse disorder. Imprisonment does not bring the offender any closer to achieving sobriety and a life free from crime. Upon release, drug offenders aren’t given the tools to help them avoid relapse or seek help from the appropriate facilities if they re-offend.

    By ordering rehab and substance abuse treatment, the courts are getting to the root issue. They are equipping offenders with the tools to help them address the root of their disorder. Court-ordered rehab teaches people how to recover from substance abuse and begin living a life free from crime.