Alcohol and drug addiction affect millions of people worldwide. While substance use disorder (SUD) greatly affects the individual, it also causes a ripple effect throughout that person’s community, family, friends, and society. Unfortunately, individuals struggling with addiction cannot see past their addiction, and some people will not willingly attend rehab. Oftentimes, their condition creates a host of problems for them, including legal trouble. This might lead an individual to be required to attend a court-ordered rehab program in West Palm Beach.

Let’s take a look at what court-ordered rehab is and how it works.

What is Court-Ordered Rehab?


Court-ordered rehab is used as a form of alternative sentencing for individuals who get into legal trouble as a result of their substance use disorder. In the past, addiction was seen as a moral failing and treated harshly, by criminal sentencing. However, recent scientific breakthroughs in research have proved that addiction and substance abuse are public health issues, rather than criminal. In other words, we now know with confidence that addiction is a disease. Fortunately, it is becoming more popular for addiction and substance abuse to be treated with rehabilitation, rather than incarceration.

Sadly, drug and alcohol addiction often leads individuals to commit crimes while they are under the influence, or as a means to obtain substances. Research has estimated that 80% of all offenses that lead to incarceration in the U.S. stem from drug and alcohol abuse.[1] To explain, the most common drug- and alcohol-fueled crimes include DUIs, domestic violence, and property crimes. To continue, half of all jail and prison inmates meet the criteria for clinical addiction.[2] And, 60% of all arrested persons test positive for illegal drugs at the time of their arrests.[3] Lastly, about 20% of prisoners claim they committed their crime to obtain money for drugs.[4]

The Goal of Court-Ordered Rehab in West Palm Beach

Unfortunately, the U.S. prison population has exploded with the rise and prevalence of illegal drugs and addiction. However, being in jail or prison doesn’t fix the underlying issue for most prison inmates, with that issue being drug addiction. Due to this, court-ordered rehab was created. By using this form of alternative sentencing, arrested individuals avoid jail time and receive the help they truly need to recover from addiction and reform their lives.

While almost any court in the U.S. is permitted to order a drug-related offender to go to rehab, in some jurisdictions, there are special courts that are explicitly designed to handle these offenses. The goal of these exclusive drug-related courts is to improve outcomes for the offender. Overall, the hope of the criminal justice system and drug court is to create positive change for the offenders by requiring their participation in a treatment facility or a mental health center.

How Court-Ordered Rehab Works

To receive sentencing of court-ordered rehab rather than jail time, a screening investigation has to be completed first. The family members, loved ones, and the attorney of an offender may request a screening investigation. To complete this process, police officers and addiction specialists conduct and participate in the investigation.

The offender will be taken into custody, where professionals evaluate whether the person is unable to control their actions due to addiction. Also, they will decipher whether the individual is suffering from health issues as a result of their substance use disorder. Then, if the police and addiction specialists conclude that the individual is a danger to themselves and others due to their addiction, an emergency court order is issued, and a hearing is scheduled.

During the hearing, the attorney, the loved ones, and the offender will ask the judge for court-ordered rehab. Overall, the judge has the final say whether the individual will complete court-ordered rehab or a traditional jail sentence. However, the charges will not be dismissed unless the individual completes the court-ordered rehab in full. Additionally, if the offender leaves rehab without completion, they may face jail time.

Judges will only issue court-ordered rehab in West Palm Beach if specific criteria are met. Also, the individual cannot have attended court-ordered rehab previously. The criteria for court-ordered rehab include:

  • The crime must be nonviolent
  • Offenses were either a direct or indirect result of drug or alcohol dependence.
  • The court believes that the offender would benefit from rehab instead of incarceration
  • The individual qualifies for a probationary sentence

Why is Court-Ordered Rehab Beneficial to Society?

Addiction is a complex and chronic condition, with many factors contributing to this disease. With that being said, science is only just recently beginning to understand addiction and substance use disorders (SUDs). The problems that contribute to addiction include biological, genetic, emotional, and societal complexities, making addiction a societal issue. Additionally, forced abstinence from substances does not treat the root of the problem, making incarceration and punishment only temporary solutions that often worsen the issues altogether. In fact, upon release from jail or prison, drug offenders aren’t given the tools they need to avoid relapse or seek help from the appropriate facilities if they re-offend.

Because of these factors, court-ordered rehab was invented. By issuing mandatory rehab for addiction-related crimes, the justice system is working to address the root of the substance abuse epidemic. In other words, they are equipping individuals suffering from addiction issues with the tools to help them address the root of their disorder. Court-ordered drug and alcohol rehab programs in West Palm Beach teach people how to recover from substance abuse, allowing them to begin living a life free from crime and addiction. They may also include academic and vocational programming to better help people adjust to life in society.

Addiction Treatment in West Palm Beach

Whether you are completing court-ordered rehab, or come on your own recognizance, CWC Recovery, located just outside of West Palm Beach, is here to help. With evidence-based treatment modalities and around-the-clock care, we have what it takes to help you or your loved one recover from the depths of addiction. Additionally, we provide aftercare programs that help former patients become re-acclimated to society. If you require addiction or alcoholism treatment, contact us today.