As someone who has a substance abuse disorder, you may find that your dependence makes you act out in ways you otherwise would not, and if your actions are criminal in nature, you may face significant penalties. California and the nation’s prisons are full of offenders who would likely not be behind bars, had they not had substance abuse disorders, leading some states and communities to come up with alternative methods of holding them accountable. 

Drug court is one such method, per the National Drug Court Resource Center, but it may not be appropriate or available to everyone. Most communities exclude criminal offenders who commit violent crimes from participating in drug court. If you are able to gain entry into one, though, it may help you overcome your substance abuse disorder, which in turn could reduce your chances of reoffending. 

How drug courts work 

Depending on the drug court you enter, it may last for months or even years. During this time, you should expect to have to submit to frequent and random drug tests. You should also plan on having to participate in substance abuse treatment classes and make regular appearances before a judge or drug court administrator. 

How drug courts help 

Research shows that drug courts are highly effective methods of reducing drug use and criminal behavior. The nation’s most successful and effective drug courts reduce recidivism, or your chances of reentering the justice system, by between 35% and 40%. They also save your community considerable money. By enrolling in and completing drug court, you could potentially save your community an average of $6,744. 

As someone facing a drug charge in California, it may benefit you substantially to find out whether enrolling in drug court is an option for you.