Drug Courts

Miami-Dade County, Florida, established the first drug court in in 1989 in response to the explosion of crack cocaine use. Since that time, the National Drug Court Institute (NDCI) estimates that more than 3,000 drug and problem-solving courts have been created. Increasingly, treatment courts specialize on specific populations of addicted offenders. It is not uncommon to have multiple courts such as veteran’s, family, DUI, and drug all within the same courthouse. Specialization allows the courts to modify their respective treatment and drug testing programs to better monitor and treat the participants’ underlying addictions.

Buffalo, New York, formed the nation’s first opioids crisis intervention court on May 1, 2017, in response to the current opioid epidemic. According to ABC News, “Buffalo-area health officials blamed 300 deaths on opioid overdoses in 2016, up from 127 two years earlier. That includes a young couple who did not make it to their second drug court appearance last spring.” A 3-year, $300,000 grant from the U.S. Justice Department funds the program. The opioid court’s goal is to treat 200 people a year while providing a model for other jurisdictions.

Because opioid addictions can quickly turn deadly, drug courts need to move more quickly and treat participants with greater oversight than traditional drug courts. The Buffalo court gets users into treatment within hours of their arrest instead of days. Additionally, court participants are required to:

  • Detox from opioids
  • Enroll in either inpatient or outpatient treatment
  • Check in with a judge every day for a month instead of once a week
  • Observe an 8 p.m. curfew

Organizers are optimistic about the court’s potential. As of July 1, 2017, none of the 80 program participants have overdosed.

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For additional information on drug testing for drug and problem-solving courts, visit our website or contact us online.

Quest Joins the Drug Court Solution

by Steve Beller on July 5, 2017

Drug courts and other problem-solving courts impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each year. These courts offer an alternative to prison for drug abusers arrested for crimes typically associated with supporting their habits. Courts are strict with highly-regimented programs, which can last from 18 to 24 months. According to the National Drug Court Institute (NDCI), drug court programs typically require participants to:

  • Complete substance abuse disorder treatment
  • Abstain from illicit drugs and alcohol for a significant period of time
  • Remain arrest-free
  • Comply with supervision conditions such as curfews and meetings with a supervision officer
  • Gain and maintain employment
  • Pay applicable fines, complete community service, and make restitution to victims

Regular, and often random, drug testing is key in drug court programs. Drug testing provides a means to ensure that participants are actively and aggressively pursuing recovery from their respective drug additions. Quest Diagnostics, which performs millions of employer drug tests annually, is now part of this solution.

Quest offers a variety of testing options designed to meet the needs of these specialty courts throughout the U.S. Testing options include laboratory-based urine, instant urine, Oral-Eze® oral fluid, and hair testing that screen for a broad range of substances. Furthermore, we understand that one size does not fit all and work with courts to determine the best solution to meet their program needs. In addition to drug testing, we provide:

Download our drug courts brochure.

For additional information on drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.

Celebrate a Life-changing Alternative

May 22, 2017Drug Courts

May is National Drug Court Month. It is a time to raise awareness of drug courts and celebrate a successful strategy for cutting crime and saving lives. It is estimated that each year, drug court programs help 150,000 participants restore their lives by providing an alternative to incarceration and a drug-dependent lifestyle. The first drug […]

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Breaking the Cycle with Drug Courts

March 29, 2017Drug Courts

Alice took her first drink at age 10, smoked crack and methamphetamine at 13, and was cooking meth by 15. Her first encounter with the justice system occurred at 13, and by her 30s, she was resigned to the fact that she was a drug addict and the rest of her life would consist of […]

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