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Are drug courts effective?

If you are struggling with drug addiction and find yourself facing drug-related criminal charges, you may have more to worry about than whether you will ultimately have to spend time behind bars. America’s prisons are overflowing with drug offenders, many who may not be there if not for their addictions, but drug courts are one possible solution for those seeking a way to combat their addictions once and for all.

Though not in practice in all areas, drug courts offer some addicts, depending on the details of their crime and past, a chance to undergo counseling and drug treatment as an alternative to spending time in jail. In addition to helping keep nonviolent offenders out of the prison system, drug courts seek to treat the addiction itself, with the knowledge that doing so often reduces future criminal behavior. Drug courts are highly effective, too, and they benefit addicts and their communities in the following ways.

They force compliance

As someone with a drug addiction, you may have firsthand experience in just how hard it is to beat a drug addiction. The strict nature of drug courts, which typically involve regular drug testing and appearances before a court or judge, all but force compliance. Without such supervision, about 70 percent of all drug offenders leave drug treatment prematurely.

They reduce crime

Your odds of committing another crime and landing back in the court system lessen considerably if you participate in drug court. About three-quarters of all who successfully complete drug court avoid future arrests for at least two years, and studies show the effects of drug court participation can last for longer than 14 years.

They save money

Taxpayers save as much as $3.36 for every $1 they invest in local drug courts, and communities also save between about $3,000 and $13,000 for everyone who enters and effectively completes drug court programs.

Drug courts benefit your community in a variety of ways, help you beat your drug addiction once and for all and improve your own quality of life as well as that of your loved ones.

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