DID YOU KNOW?

20.2 million American adults (about 1 in 10) have a substance use disorder. 43.6 million (about 1 in 5) have a mental health problem. Nearly 8 million of these individuals suffer from co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

Tragically, people with these disorders are more likely to be incarcerated than treated.

63,600

estimated Americans died of a drug overdose in 2016

2/3

of all fatal drug overdoses in the US are due to opioids

65%

of all US inmates have a substance use disorder

$80b

amount the US spends annually on incarceration

It doesn't have to be this way.......

TREATMENT COURTS WORK

Treatment courts are the single most successful intervention in our nation’s history for leading people living with substance use and mental health disorders out of the justice system and into lives of recovery and stability.

Instead of viewing addiction as a moral failing, they view it as a disease. Instead of punishment, they offer treatment. Instead of indifference, they show compassion.

Saving Lives
Breaking Cycles
Reducing Stigma
Saving Resources
Leading Reform
Saving Lives

Treatment courts save lives every single day. They employ a holistic approach that goes beyond simply treating substance use disorders. They improve education, employment, housing, and financial stability; promote family reunification; reduce foster care placements; and increase the rate of mothers with substance use disorders delivering fully drug-free babies.

Breaking Cycles

Treatment courts refer more people to treatment than any other intervention in America, and those people are more successful in recovery because they remain in treatment long enough to be successful. The average national completion rate for treatment courts is nearly 60%, approximately two-thirds higher than probation and more than twice the rate of probationers with substance use disorders.

Reducing Stigma

Treatment courts uphold the enduring, absolute value of every human person and embody compassion towards the most vulnerable in our justice system. Reducing the stigma of substance use and mental health disorders has never been more important as our nation battles the opioid epidemic. Leading the way, treatment courts provide access to evidence-based medication-assisted treatment—including buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone—to tens of thousands of Americans each year.

Saving Resources

Not only are treatment courts effective and humane, they save considerable money for taxpayers. Treatment courts produce benefits of $6,208 per participant, returning up to $27 for every $1 invested.

Leading Reform

Treatment courts introduced humanity in a system that has relied on inhumane tactics for far too long, thereby changing our national perspective on what it means to serve justice. The principles of treatment courts have given rise to other incarceration alternatives, diversion programs, and sentencing reforms. In this way, they are the foundation of the current justice system reform movement in the US.

THE FOUNDATION OF JUSTICE REFORM

The war on drugs intensified during the 1980s, placing the justice system on the front lines of the cocaine epidemic. Both justice and treatment professionals alike began to recognize that not treating substance use and mental health disorders simply perpetuated a vicious cycle of relapse and recidivism.

In 1989, the first drug court launched in Miami-Dade County, Florida, laying the foundation for what is now nearly three decades of justice system reform. Treatment courts prove that providing supervision, structure, and evidence-based treatment was a far more successful approach to substance use and mental health disorders than punishment.