Is Drug Court an option for you?

When it comes to criminal drug charges, it often seems like the system is stacked against people who suffer from addiction. New Jersey is one of the states that has recognized this problem and has taken steps to see that people who are facing a conviction will not only pay their debt to society, but also receive the treatment they need to effectively combat the self-destructive cycle of substance abuse.

New Jersey has introduced Drug Courts to its criminal justice system to stop substance abuse and the criminal activity that usually goes along with it. Drug Courts differ from criminal courts in that they endeavor to establish a close working relationship between the criminal justice system and professionals that treat addiction.

New Jersey has legislation in place that requires all Drug Court funds for treatment go toward the Department of Human Services and its Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). The DMHAS has the authority to contract with third parties to ensure that there are enough resources to provide complete treatment programs to people who qualify.

The DMHAS plays a key role in making the Drug Courts successful. It has several duties that are a huge part of this success. For instance, it is the DMHAS's responsibility to identify any gaps in the care service, setting criteria for treatment providers to gain membership to the program. It also oversees the rejection and approval of providers that apply to be part of the program. The DMHAS educates providers about the Drug Court program and the approved Best Practices that treatment centers need to help patients who come out of the justice system.

Services that the DMHAS provides includes detoxification, outpatient care and both short- and long-term residential care. The DMHAS also has programs for prevention, early intervention and even recovery support for those who qualify.

If you or someone you love is facing criminal drug charges and has a substance abuse problem in the Atlantic City area, then Drug Court might be an option. However, it is important to remember that it is always possible to fight back against drug charges and possibly avoid a conviction.

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