SOURCE: National Association of Drug Court Professionals

National Association of Drug Court Professionals

July 13, 2016 19:21 ET

CARA Bill Supports Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court Expansion

NADCP Applauds Bipartisan Effort to Enhance Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery

ALEXANDRIA, VA --(Marketwired - July 13, 2016) - The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) applauds the passage of the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), landmark legislation that advances evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery services for substance use disorders, including drug courts and veterans treatment courts.

CARA authorizes continued funding for drug courts and veterans treatment courts, confirming they are a vital component of the nation's strategy to promote treatment and recovery while addressing the devastation caused by the opioid epidemic.

There are now over 3,000 treatment courts in the United States, including over 1,500 adult drug courts and 260 veterans treatment courts. Research proves that treatment courts are the most successful alternative to incarceration for people with substance use disorders, annually connecting more than 120,000 people to evidence-based treatment and the pathway to long-term recovery.

In addition, CARA will strengthen drug courts and veterans treatment courts by expanding access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone. It will also provide new funding to expand access to evidence-based treatment, including medication-assisted treatment supporting local communities, schools, and higher education recovery services. CARA will improve opioid safety measures at the Department of Veterans Affairs and expand research and education on complementary and integrative health to veterans.

"The passage of CARA signifies a renewed national commitment to the millions affected by the disease of addiction," said Carson Fox, Chief Executive Officer of NADCP. "Every person deserves access to evidence-based treatment. For those whose substance use disorder leads to involvement in the justice system, drug courts and veterans treatment courts offer hope of recovery and a new life free of addiction. CARA will expand access to treatment services to help us reach the one million justice-involved Americans suffering from addiction."

Drug court is a sentencing alternative that provides life-saving treatment to people living with substance use and mental health disorders, offering a public health response to addiction within the criminal justice system. In drug court, treatment providers ensure each participant receives an individualized, evidence-based treatment plan, and work as a team with defense lawyers, law enforcement, probation officers, prosecuting attorneys, and judges to provide ongoing support and supervision. This community-based approach allows drug courts to identify and meet individual needs that go beyond clinical treatment. Drug courts also address education, employment, housing assistance, family reunification, restitution, and healthcare needs.

Veterans treatment courts are modeled after drug courts, specifically serving veterans whose involvement in the criminal justice system is rooted in a substance use disorder, mental health condition, and/or trauma. Veterans treatment courts connect these veterans to the local, state, and federal benefits and treatment they have earned.

To learn more about drug courts and veterans treatment courts, and to request an interview, contact Chris Deutsch at cdeutsch@allrise.org.

About NADCP:
Since 1994, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), a non-profit organization 501 (c)(3) representing more than 27,000 multi-disciplinary justice professionals and community leaders, has worked tirelessly at the national, state, and local level to create and enhance drug courts and other treatment courts. NADCP is recognized as experts on the intersection of addiction and the criminal justice system. After 26 years of innovation, NADCP has helped lead the effort to create over 3,000 drug courts located in all 50 US states and territories. For more information, visit AllRise.org.

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