In the past, drug use and alcoholism were viewed as moral failings. Repeat offenders were often sent to prison as punishment for their perceived crimes. However, as time has gone on, science has taught us that addiction is a public health matter, not a criminal matter. Nonetheless, we’re in a transition phase. Families can request that their loved one gets sent to court-ordered rehab.

In some cases, they might need to stand before a judge who decides if they’re eligible for rehab or should spend time in prison. Court-ordered rehab is often a necessary last resort for families with loved ones who are resisting substance abuse treatment to the detriment of their mental health.

What Is Court-Ordered Rehab?

Lots of people who commit crimes also struggle with alcohol or drug addiction. The prison population is in crisis with regards to substance abuse, and sending people away for drug-related crimes is just feeding the problem.

If you report a family member who is struggling with their relationship with drugs and alcohol to the police, the chances of them going to prison are almost nonexistent. In most cases, judges understand that detox and treatment at a rehab facility, including therapy and support groups, are the best ways of addressing an SUD. Furthermore, if they don’t serve jail time, they’re not exposed to a potential network of suppliers and users.

How to Get Someone Into Court-Ordered Rehab

To get someone into drug court, you’ll need to report them to the police. As intimidating as it might sound to get your loved one in legal trouble, you’re doing them a favor. Drug and alcohol addiction never affect one person alone. There’s an entire ripple effect, where your family, community and society suffer — if the illness remains untreated. Substance use can quickly escalate into addiction, especially with drugs like meth, heroin and cocaine.

If talking to your loved one and trying to encourage them to get help hasn’t worked, consider asking the police to conduct a screening investigation. For this to take place, the police need to know that a crime has taken place. In most cases, possession is a sufficient crime.

After you make the report, the family member struggling with addiction will go into custody, where police and addiction specialists assess them. If they’re unable to control themselves and their health is suffering as a result of severe addiction, the court system might be considered. The main criteria are that they are a danger to themselves and others as a result of drug abuse or alcohol abuse. If this is the case, the judge will administer an emergency court order and schedule a hearing.

It’s during the hearing that the judge decides whether treatment at a drug and alcohol rehab center, community service or jail time is an appropriate sentence.

Judges will only recommend an addiction treatment program as a form of alternative sentencing if the individual meets the following criteria:

  • They haven’t committed a violent crime.
  • The related offense was a direct result of a substance use disorder.
  • Health care providers and the courts believe drug treatment is the best option.
  • The criminal justice system wouldn’t hand down anything more than a probationary sentence.

Court-ordered rehab programs last for a different amount of time for each individual. The average is around three months — but it can be anything from one to six months. There is no set amount of time for court-ordered treatment services. The duration of your stay depends on the severity of your substance abuse disorder and how hard you work at long-term recovery.

Inpatient rehab or sober living homes are usually the best treatment options for individuals with severe SUDs. They let you make a fresh, new start away from the triggers and temptations of everyday life. You’re also in a structured environment that’s designed to help people overcome addiction and get the help they need for any underlying mental health disorders.

The individual with the substance abuse problems is expected to pay for their time at a treatment facility. You get to choose which rehab you stay at, so you can select one that your health insurance covers all or part of. The courts will put together a treatment team to make sure you’re getting the most out of your time in rehab. This team is made up of a judge, case managers, health workers and therapists. They all work together to ensure that you comply with the court’s decision.

If a judge has ordered you to complete a stay in inpatient rehab, it’s essential that you finish the course of treatment. If you fail to do so, the court will have no option but to prosecute you for the crime to the fullest extent of the law. On the other hand, if you successfully make it through the other side of the program, all criminal charges are dropped and you’re free to make a positive contribution to the world.

An Affordable Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center

If you’re concerned that a court order is the only viable option for a family member who is struggling with a substance use disorder, call Brookside Treatment today at 606-658-3078. One of our friendly advisors can talk you through the process and link you with the necessary resources to take the next steps. Don’t sit around and hope the situation will sort itself out — because it will only get worse. The best course of action when it comes to addiction treatment is action.