Tennessee's drug offenders need treatment, not incarceration

If you suffer from a serious drug addiction, you may understand that addiction can lead you to do things you may otherwise never consider. Many drug addicts who once led a crime-free lifestyle end up breaking laws they would not have before. An increasingly popular program available in some parts of Tennessee strives to help addicts kick addiction and return to a life free of drugs and crime.

In addition to offering many drug offenders an alternative to a traditional prison sentence, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals notes that drug courts offer many benefits.

Save communities money

Every time or another drug offender goes through a drug court program as opposed to serving a sentence behind bars, communities save anywhere from $3,000 to $13,000. In one recent year, states saved $9 in state funding for every federal dollar used toward drug court programs.

Help reduce crime

Drug courts also have dramatic effects on reducing crime, and so much so that these programs generate as much as a 45-percent reduction when compared with traditional criminal penalties and prison terms. These crime reductions also have lasting effects, with statistics indicating they can last anywhere from about three years after an offense to more than 14. Your chances of breaking the law again greatly decrease.

Help families stay together

Your family also has a better shot at staying together for the long haul because of your participation in drug court. Your children are also considerably less likely to have to spend long periods in out-of-home care, such as foster homes, because of your inclusion in a drug court program. As a parent, you are also more likely to effectively complete drug addiction treatment than you would be if you did not have children.

Drug courts change lives, but regrettably, they are not yet available in all areas. If you are suffering from a drug addiction and want to know if a drug court may be available to you as an alternative to imprisonment, you may want to get in touch with a lawyer.

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