“Drug treatment courts are a feel good innovation for advocates of criminal justice reform that is misleading the public into believing that judges are wiser than doctors concerning the treatment of those with substance use disorder.
With a growing overdose epidemic gripping the United States, slogans of “treatment not prison” resonate with families struggling with addiction. The public is reassured that “drug courts work” and “drug courts save lives.” All of these slogans sound like compassionate solutions to those that use illegal drugs and are dying from accidental overdose. Yet with the continued expansion of drug treatment courts over the last 20 years, the overdose rate continues to rise at alarming rates. There is no proof that drug treatment court has reduced overdose rates or is saving lives. Neither is there documented proof that the treatment mandated in drug treatment court is effective in curbing the future use of opioids or heroin.
Those that advocate for drug treatment courts have not defined what treatment means. As the government has proclaimed that addiction is a disease, the public assumes that medical treatment is what drug court participants will receive. As Jason Cherkis exposed in Dying to be Free, Kentucky drug courts failed to provide standard of care for their addicted participants. Since individual drug treatment courts operate without strict medical guidelines and without medical doctors, we have no idea how many of the over 2,500 drug courts continue to operate like Kentucky.”
Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elaine-pawlowski/time-for-drug-treatment-c_b_9121226.html
Source: HuffingtonPost.com – February 2, 2015