Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment
By The Recovery Village Ridgefield
Last Updated: May 31, 2023
Editorial Policy | Research Policy
With the substance use disorder epidemic on the rise across the country, it seems more common than ever that the legal system is imposing court-ordered treatment as an alternative sentence to incarceration in criminal cases.
Just because court-ordered addiction treatment is mandated rather than sought voluntarily does not mean that the treatment is any less individualized. If you or a loved one enter addiction treatment through the court system, you will want to have an idea of what to expect, and gain, from the process.
There is more than one option for addiction treatment that the courts can mandate to an individual. The goal of having someone enter a professional addiction treatment program rather than serving jail time is to provide tools to help a person curtail substance misuse that could have previously clouded judgment and caused the infraction against the law.
Some of the court-ordered addiction treatment options that may be mandated include inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, or a combination of inpatient treatment transitioning into outpatient treatment.
Inpatient treatment involves an individual staying on-site at an addiction treatment facility to facilitate stabilization. The structure of inpatient treatment helps to keep a person on the path to sobriety during the difficult withdrawal phase. This is especially pivotal in court-ordered cases as most patients are not entering treatment willingly.
Intensive outpatient treatment has many of the benefits of inpatient treatment therapies, like individual and group counseling, as well as other Washington state addiction treatment resources, while not requiring a person to live on-site. This holds an individual accountable to show up and put in the work, which is also necessary when dealing with the courts. Failure to appear and cooperate with an addiction treatment program can result in incarceration.
Is Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment Effective?
Is court-ordered addiction treatment effective? A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information and the National Library of Medicine found that individuals mandated by a court order to enter addiction treatment were less motivated in the beginning phases of intensive outpatient programs but were more likely than individuals not mandated by a court order to complete the entire duration of treatment.
This demonstrates that the pressure of legal ramifications has the potential to increase the benefits of addiction treatment to its participants, whether willingly or not. In fact, many individuals that enter a professional addiction treatment program cite a judicial presence as a major motivator to seek out and enroll in addiction treatment. With the pressure of completing the entire stay in an addiction treatment program, there is enough time for the healing benefits of the treatment to take effect and truly save lives.
Although a person might not enter an addiction treatment program on their own accord, the benefits of treatment can still be reaped. In many instances, the longer an individual remains in treatment, the higher their chances are of success in handling a substance use disorder and maintaining sobriety.
If you or any of your loved ones experience a substance use disorder, you do not have to wait until the legal system gets involved to get help. Contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield today to get started on your recovery path.
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.