What is Substance Abuse Treatment in Indiana Problem Solving Courts? An Empirical Study of 20 Drug and Veterans Courts
66 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2016 Last revised: 4 Aug 2017
Date Written: June 24, 2017
Little is known about substance abuse treatment within problem-solving courts, including treatment-related policies and the treatment decision-making processes. In order to examine opiate dependence treatment in the context of problem-solving courts, I interviewed judges of 20 problem-solving courts (drug and veterans courts) and one prison-based treatment program.
Results included the following policies and practices. Counseling and self-help groups are almost always required for participants, but counseling is considered more central to treatment. Non-spiritual self-help groups are limited and largely inaccessible. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opiate addiction is commonly discouraged in problem-solving courts, contrary to recommendations from professional health organizations.
Treatment decisions are made by treatment teams that consist of counselors, judges, law enforcement, probation officers, prosecutors, and attorneys, but rarely include physicians. Finally, treatment through veterans’ courts tends to be more accessible, less costly, and more inclusive of MAT than treatment through drug courts.
Keywords: addiction, drug courts, veterans courts, medication-assisted treatment, support groups, counseling, judges
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