American Society of Addiciton Medicine

Drug Court Resources

Clinical Resources

Drug Court Resources

Veterans-Court-10

Why Drug Courts?

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are highly prevalent among individuals involved in the criminal justice system: 65 percent of people who are incarcerated in the U.S. meet the diagnostic criteria for a SUD.i Drug courts are an evidence-based model for diverting justice-involved individuals with SUDs to treatment instead of incarceration. This model recognizes that addiction is a brain disease that impairs decision making and impulse control. Unless the underlying disease is treated, the individual will remain at risk for SUD and recidivism.ii

Drug courts can offer an alternative to traditional courts for adult criminal cases, juvenile delinquency and truancy cases, and family court cases involving parents at risk of losing custody of their children due to substance use. They pair evidence-based treatment with judicial supervision and other supportive services, such as job training, education, and housing assistance. Decades of research have demonstrated that drug courts reduce crime, improve addiction-related outcomes among participants, and are highly cost effective.iii, iv


65% of all U.S. inmates meet the medical criteria for substance use disorder, only 11% receive any treatment.i


77% of drug offenders are re-arrested within 5 years of release from prison.ii


60% of participants complete their drug court programs. This figure is approximately two-thirds higher than probation and more than twice the rate of probationers with substance use disorders.v


Tens of thousands of Americans access addiction pharmacotherapies through drug courts every year.vi




Webinar Trainings

These webinars describe substance use disorder treatment practices and procedures with a focus on drug court and criminal justice settings. They are presented by David Mee-Lee, MD, FASAM, who is a leading substance use disorder expert and the Chief Editor of  The ASAM Criteria.


Webinar A picture

Multidimensional Assessments: Matching Services to Needs and Strengths

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Webinar B pictureHow to Track Treatment Progress and Adherence with the ASAM Criteria

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These webinar trainings are jointly sponsored by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP).




Pocket Guides


Pocket guide A cover

A Drug Court Clinician's Guide for Linking People to Opioid Treatment Services

This pocket guide is designed to help counselors and therapists working with drug court participants refer and link participants to opioid treatment services in outpatient offices, clinics, and Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs).

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A Drug Court Team Member's Guide to Medication in Addiction Treatment

A Drug Court Team Member's Guide to Medication in Addiction Treatment

This pocket guide is intended for non-clinical drug court team members (e.g., court coordinators, judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, parole officers, case managers, peer mentors, recovery coaches). It will describe how the team member can support both the provider and those participants prescribed or considering medication in addiction treatment.

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Understanding Medication in Addiction Treatment for Drug Court Participants

Understanding Medication in Addiction Treatment for Drug Court Participants

This pocket guide is for drug court participants who may be prescribed or considering medication as a part of addiction treatment, as well as their families and support systems, including peer mentors, recovery coaches, and peer recovery specialists.

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These pocket guides are jointly sponsored by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP).




Additional Resources


About NADCP

Definition of Addiction

About Drug Courts

The ASAM Criteria

Treatment in Correctional Settings Advocacy Toolkit

NIDA: Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations

SAMHSA: Criminal and Juvenile Justice




Sources 

i Columbia University Center on Addiction. Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population. 2010, Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population.

 ii Durose, Matthew R, et al. Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010. 2014.

 iii “Do Drug Courts Work? Findings From Drug Court Research.” National Institute of Justice, 1 May 2018.

iv Marlowe, Douglas B. "Research Update on Adult Drug Courts." National Association of Drug Court Professionals: Need To Know, Dec. 2010.

v Marlowe, Douglas B, et al. Painting the Current Picture A National Report on Drug Courts and Other Problem-Solving Courts in the United States. National Drug Court Institute (NDCI), 2016.

vi Matusow, Harlan, et al. “Medication Assisted Treatment in US Drug Courts: Results from a Nationwide Survey of Availability, Barriers and Attitudes.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, vol. 44, no. 5, May 2013, pp. 473–480., doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2012.10.004].