Drug court started in Miami-Dade County in 1989. Today it is a growing trend in the criminal justice system. If you’re facing non-violent criminal charges due to substance abuse disorder or a drug-related crime, you may be eligible for drug court.
Successful participation in the program may help you avoid jail time and may keep the felony or misdemeanor charge off your record. It’s estimated that in 2019, more than 150,000 people in the criminal justice system will receive treatment through participation in drug court.
The criminal justice system recognizes that there is a connection between crime and substance abuse. According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, 65% of U.S. inmates have a substance abuse disorder.
Drug court strives to have a meaningful impact on the lives of participants, their families and society at large. It offers arrestees the opportunity to break the addiction cycle and find long-term recovery.
Drug court is rigorous
Drug court usually lasts 12-18 months. Treatment often includes a combination of:
- Inpatient or outpatient rehab
- Individual or group counseling
- Sober fellowship meeting attendance
- Mandatory urine, blood and/or breath testing
- Regular court appearance
Drug court balances justice, accountability and compassion. The State of Florida may drop your criminal charges if you successfully complete drug court. Drug court is voluntary. Judges, who play a central role in monitoring progress, look favorably upon those who participate in the program. Know that if you violate the terms of your program or parole, such as failing a drug test, your case may go back to court.
If you’re committed to getting sober and maintaining long-term recovery, drug court can help you turn your life around.