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Is Court-Ordered Rehab Effective?


Drug or alcohol addiction often leads an individual to require medical addiction treatment – some of which is court-ordered rehab. While some people seek treatment on their own, others may not realize that they even have a problem. However, these individuals often experience legal repercussions as a result of their substance abuse. This is because people suffering from addiction often partake in risky or illegal behavior that they would never do while sober.

Additionally, addiction and alcoholism are both considered mental disorders by a legal and medical standpoint. As a result, when someone is arrested as a result of their substance abuse, the justice system will intervene by providing them with the option for rehabilitation.

Court-ordered rehab is considered alternative sentencing because rather than going to jail, these individuals have the opportunity to receive help. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 18% of federal inmates and 17% of state-held prisoners committed their crime as a means to obtain money for drugs. Many legal issues are prevalent among individuals with substance use disorders, including receiving DUI, theft, assault, and homicide charges.

What is Court-Ordered Rehab?

Court-ordered rehab is a mandatory rehabilitation from a drug or alcohol addiction that is ordered by a judge as a part of a court ruling. Oftentimes, court-ordered rehab is offered instead of jail or prison sentences to offenders who would benefit more from attending addiction treatment. For example, if an individual commits a crime while under the influence, many judges offer them treatment rather than time in jail. This is meant to provide help and intervention to those suffering from substance abuse issues.

Since the legal system favors rehabilitation for all offenders, court-ordered rehab is a perfect solution for otherwise good people with drug or alcohol addictions. Allowing the individual an opportunity to rehabilitate and return back into society as a model citizen helps to end the cycle of addiction. Oftentimes, addicts and alcoholics get stuck in a cycle of substance abuse, committing crimes in order to obtain their drug of choice, and going to jail for addiction-related charges. This cycle can continue for a lifetime unless proper intervention and support are offered, such as professional rehabilitation services.

Who is Eligible for Court-Ordered Rehab in Florida?

In order to be determined as eligible for court-ordered rehab in Florida, an individual must meet certain criteria. If eligible, an individual will be able to go to addiction or alcoholism treatment rather than spending time in jail for a minor crime.

The criteria for court-ordered rehab include:

  • The person was addicted to drugs or alcohol at the time which the crime was committed
  • Crimes were indirectly or directly caused by the person’s drug or alcohol dependence
  • The individual will benefit from attending drug or alcohol addiction treatment
  • This person qualifies for a probation sentence rather than time in jail or prison

When an offender is attending rehab due to a judge’s order, their treatment does not negate a jail sentence until their treatment plan has been completed. Additionally, offenders must pay for their treatment. On the bright side, the offender typically is allowed to choose the treatment center they attend. This allows them to consider the costs and location of their treatment program.

Failing to Complete Mandatory Rehab

Court-ordered rehab does not only require that individuals attend, in fact, but the individual must also complete the entire program. However, if they fail to do so, the individual must face prosecution for their crimes to the fullest legally permissible extent. While they are allowed to plead guilty, they must face the full consequences of their charges. Additionally, depending on the judge, individuals who fail to complete court-ordered rehab may face a harsher punishment for their crimes than they would have originally. This is because the legal system provided them with a second chance that they failed to take.

On the other hand, if court-ordered rehab is completed, the charges will be dropped and will not show up on their record. This model applies most often in cases where the individual does not have a past criminal record or has had very few legal issues. If the individual has pleaded guilty to the crime, received a sentence, and a fine, all of these will be dropped upon completing court-ordered rehab.

Effectiveness of Sending Offenders to Treatment

While many people distrust the effectiveness of court-mandated rehab, this alternative to serving time in jail is often enough motivation for individuals to get sober. However, the effectiveness of court-ordered rehab depends on intrinsic motivation. In other words, whether the individual stays sober will rely solely on the effort they put in while attending a rehab program. According to a study conducted by the NIDA, court-ordered rehab has the same success rate as voluntary rehab. This study states, “A group of men who completed court-ordered treatment for alcohol and drug problems reported lower intrinsic motivation at the beginning of treatment, but, 5 years later, reported the same rates of abstinence, employment, and rearrest as peers who sought help on their own”. Therefore, court-ordered rehab is just as effective as voluntary rehab and is often the “wake-up call” that many individuals need.

Find Addiction Treatment in Florida Today

Addiction and alcoholism can be extremely difficult to overcome – especially when an individual is in denial. Sometimes, court-ordered rehab is a perfect way to shock a loved one into receiving help for their addiction. While this may not be successful 100% of the time, court-ordered rehab has been proven to work in most cases. If you or a loved one are in need of a treatment center to complete a court-ordered rehab sentence, contact us today. We can provide you with the resources, support, and medical intervention you need in order to defeat the disease of addiction.

Call the Agape Treatment Center admissions team at 888-614-0077 to learn more about what our addiction and mental health facilities can do for you or your loved one.

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