For people struggling with drug dependency issues, traditional courts and criminal penalties often do not serve their needs or aid with avoiding recidivism. As an alternative, several counties throughout North Carolina offer adult drug treatment court programs.
Understanding the adult drug treatment court program may help people facing criminal charges determine if they will benefit from participation.
Who is eligible to participate?
According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch, to participate in the adult drug treatment court, people must meet certain eligibility criteria. To qualify for admittance into the program, people must have the following:
- A diagnosis of chemical dependency or borderline chemical dependency under the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory III
- Assessment for legal eligibility
- Eligibility for intermediate penalties for all pending charges
Further, they must meet any other requirements as reasonably set by the local program.
What does drug court participation require?
According to the Buncombe County adult drug treatment court handbook, participants must follow the specified program rules and meet the necessary benchmarks to progress and ultimately graduate from the adult drug treatment court. To this end, they will have to attend treatment sessions, attend coordinator and probation meetings, submit to drug screens, participate in community support activities, and attend court hearings. Participants in the drug treatment court must also have a job or attend school, with few exceptions.
What is needed to graduate from the program?
To graduate from the adult drug treatment court, participants must progress through each of the program’s steps, meeting all the conditions for at least 90 days. Additionally, they must maintain drug-free screens for at least 90 consecutive days and submit a graduation application.
Facing drug charges may send people’s lives down paths they never expected. However, through court programs such as the drug treatment court, those who find themselves in such circumstances may gain the support they need.