Drug Courts Benefit Everyone


Drug and alcohol treatment can be a way to get your life back. Too often, people slip slowly into addiction without realizing there is an issue. Once the addiction takes hold, it can be impossible to crawl out of the hole they find themselves in. Addiction issues often exist alongside mental health issues, making treatment even more challenging.

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Stout Street Foundation Center Denver offers treatment for a variety of addictions, and in ways that can best meet each individual need. They offer both short and long-term treatment options. While short-term treatment may be enough to help some individual, people with a long history of addiction or who have coexisting conditions, such as mental health issues, may find a long-term stay most beneficial.

One way long-term treatment is helping individuals get their life back is through programs that are designed to work alongside drug courts. In a growing number of areas, communities are realizing that incarcerating people for non-violent drug crimes is not the best use of resources. Not only does this create more people in prisons that are often already overcrowded, but it leaves individuals who may be suffering from addiction, but are still able to function, in a situation where they come out of jail without the ability to find housing or work.

By working with drug courts, long-term treatment facilities provide a place for individuals suffering from addiction to get treatment for their addiction issues. While there, they can address any mental health concerns, pain issues that may have lead to their initial drug use, and receive counseling on effective methods of dealing with the stress of everyday life.

A drug conviction for marijuana can have a devastating effect on college and employment opportunities. Even as the use of marijuana becomes legal in more areas, a lingering conviction is considered a huge black mark. Having this black mark that can prevent you from finding a job or affordable, safe housing can lead to falling in with a bad crowd or re-entering a negative lifestyle cycle.

new policy for drug offenders would allow people who have these convictions to have their records vacated and sealed. This is a simple way to move forward from what does not have to be an insurmountable problem.

The trick is in determining who needs a fresh start and who needs drug treatment. Denver is home to the Turn Over a New Leaf program, aimed at making these determinations and helping both groups find success.

This program uses special drug and sobriety courts to work through the system. It provides support for individuals seeking help for addiction issues. Treatment, rather than incarceration, is the goal.

Drug court is a great choice for individuals who need a structured environment for success. Drug court provides specialized care that meets the needs of individuals who are ready to make a change. Following through with the treatment plan allows these individuals to avoid going through life with a criminal record.

In this program, staff reviews each individual’s case as well as their history. They are evaluated to determine what their level of addiction is and what type of treatment offers them the best chance of success. Any obstacles they are facing that may serve as stumbling blocks on their road to sobriety, as well as information about past attempts at treatment are uncovered as well.

Individuals in this program must undergo an intensive treatment program which includes frequent court appearances. In addition to the addiction treatment, individuals will receive help with lifestyle issues that can create obstacles to sobriety, including referrals to mental healthcare, Social Security services, and help with housing.

Individuals who agree to these terms and participate in the program can then enroll in in-patient treatment or seek help in a medically assisted treatment program. The program typically lasts between 18 months and 2 years. Successful graduates of the program have their case dismissed and have no criminal history.

When our country made the decision to be tough on crime, too many people who experience addiction ended up in jail. Often, addiction issues are coupled with poverty and mental health issues, leaving the individual in a poor position to regain what little footing they had when they are released from prison.

These individuals are non-violent and do not present any danger to others. Locking them up only serves to overcrowd prisons and increase the likelihood that they will be in prison again after their release.

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