Current laws for drug and alcohol abuse place a very heavy onus on the user. Our jails are full of individuals arrested for nonviolent drug-related offences, and these individuals rarely – if ever – receive treatment for their addictions. It is easy to see how this might lead to a vicious and never-ending cycle: an addict is arrested for the purchase/possession/consumption of illegal drugs, spends some time in jail during which he receives little counseling, is released, returns to his drug habit, and is later picked up again for yet another drug-related offense. It is important to remember that addiction is a disease, and it often presents as a dual diagnosis, i.e. the addiction afflicts the individual in tandem with a psychological or emotional disease. Considering this, the endless cycle does little to nothing to truly address the overarching reality of addiction and its effects on our society. The alternative is clear: addicts require extensive and comprehensive individualized addiction treatment.

Your Legal Right to an Alternative

We make no apologies for our belief that addiction is a disease warranting treatment, and we fully support the drug court alternative offered by the state of Florida in combating drug and alcohol addiction. Rather than simply locking away an offender and leaving him to stew in the oft-occluded reality of his addiction, drug courts take a proactive approach toward rehabilitation and recovery. The justice system works diligently to monitor the transgressor, to ensure that he is receiving drug and alcohol addiction treatment – we, ourselves, work closely with attorneys in facilitating the drug court process – and is being made accountable for his own recovery, and drug courts are wildly successful in doing so. Because of their dedication to recovery and sobriety – their dedication to breaking the cycle of addiction – the drug courts here in Florida have been deemed the “crown jewel” of our state’s judicial system.

Drug courts are your legal right.

Qualifying for Drug Court

Drug courts are here for you, but they are not intended to be abused. Drug courts, as a positive and effective alternative to the usual “remedy,” have outlined a set of qualifiers for participants in the program, and some of the more general rules are as follows: participants must be first-time offenders with no prior felony convictions; participants must have a substance abuse problem or must have been charged with a second or third degree felony for the possession or purchase of a controlled substance; participants cannot be facing charges for a violent crime; and participants must voluntarily agree to be admitted to a drug court program. Remember: it is your legal right to pursue drug court intervention. Should you find yourself facing drug charges, confer with your attorney and explore the possibility of drug court and the treatment it may provide in tandem with a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center. It may not only keep you from jail time, but it may ultimately save your life.