Opinion: Does Court-Ordered Drug Treatment Work?

court ordered drug treatmentIt has been a long held belief that addicts and alcoholics must want to get sober in order to get sober. Or that they can’t be forced into sobriety. I can definitely see why this belief exists because many addicts and alcoholics won’t get sober until they are ready and willing to do it for themselves. But this isn’t always the case. And often times addicts and alcoholics don’t know their drug use and drinking has put them on death’s front door until it is too late. That is why court-ordered drug treatment is available.

But does court ordered drug treatment work?

Often times, yes it does. Unfortunately getting exact numbers on how court ordered drug treatment fares in comparison to a regular treatment center is difficult. This is because even the numbers for people who choose to go to drug treatment are skewed by relapse and what the definition of success in sobriety even is. Often times relapse is part of the process and it takes an individual a few times through treatment before it sticks. Once it sticks though, does that mean that the individual wasn’t successful due to the relapses? Whatever the case may be it is probably smart to assume that while the numbers or success rate for court ordered drug treatment may not be as high it is still just almost just as effective as any other drug treatment program. And that’s because even the success rates of the best drug treatment centers aren’t very high.

The opinion

I believe that court ordered drug treatment serves an important purpose in the lives of many addicts and alcoholics, as well as their families. I myself was court ordered to a detox center and it worked for me. I took the next step into drug treatment afterwards. I think often times addicts and alcoholics don’t want drug treatment simply because they are comfortable getting high. I feel, if they got the chance though to see what sobriety could be like and that they didn’t have to do that anymore they might feel differently about using and drinking. Alcoholics and addicts don’t have the foresight, because of their disease, to realize how drug treatment could help them until after they have completed drug treatment. This was exactly my story. I did not want to go to detox, when I was in detox I was much more receptive once my head started to clear, and now after the fact I thank God often that I was involuntarily sent there because I probably would have never gotten help if I hadn’t been. All in all, addicts and alcoholics don’t have to want to get sober to stay sober. I am living proof of that. Sometimes addicts and alcoholics don’t know what they need and when they get it, they are glad they did.

Court ordered drug treatment can work. And the reason it doesn’t for some is because of many different factors not just that the addict and alcoholic doesn’t want it. For instance, a judge is setting the amount of time that an addict or alcoholic has to be in treatment and a judge is not a doctor. The judge may require much too short of mandatory stay than is necessary. If the addict or alcoholic stayed longer they might be more successful but often times after only a short period of time, in court ordered drug treatment or not, the addict or alcoholic thinks they are well again and they are not.

Either way court ordered drug treatment saves lives and while it may or may not have high rates of people staying sober for the rest of their lives, most treatment centers don’t.

If you or your loved one is in need of drug treatment please don’t hesitate to call us at toll-free: 1-800-951-6135