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An overview of New York’s drug treatment courts

When authorities charge you with a drug-related criminal act, you run the risk of facing serious penalties that may include jail time, hefty fines, substance abuse treatment obligations and more. If your criminal act was not a violent one, but rather, something you did because of your addiction, you may be able to avoid some of these penalties by enrolling in and graduating from a New York drug court.

Drug courts involve attorneys, prosecutors, substance abuse professionals and others coming together to collectively help substance abusers beat their addictions. Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate the drug addiction with the hope of preventing an offender from reentering the justice system. Drug courts have proven results and help substance abusers do exactly this. Currently, the state has 141 drug courts in operation, and there are four different types.

Criminal drug treatment courts

Enrolling in a criminal drug treatment court may give you a chance to potentially have your drug charge dismissed or reduced. You may be able to gain entry into such a program if you are facing a misdemeanor or felony drug charge.

Juvenile drug treatment courts

Meant for nonviolent juvenile offenders, these courts offer guidance, accountability and substance abuse treatment for youths facing Juvenile Delinquency or Person In Need of Supervision petitions in family court.

Family drug treatment courts

Intended for those facing allegations of neglect, family drug courts work to help substance abusers kick their habits and reunite with their families. If you enroll in one, you may be able to see increasingly more of your children throughout the program’s duration as long as you follow its rules.

Opioid courts

Opioid courts seek to target the increasingly widespread opioid problem affecting residents of New York. Currently, the state operates one opioid court in Buffalo and another in the Bronx.

A substance abuse problem may lead you to act in ways that you otherwise would not. A New York drug court may give you the tools and coping skills you need to overcome your addiction and move forward with your life.

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