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Published On: April 16, 2018|Categories: DUI/DWI|

While some people believe that court mandated treatment isn’t as effective as other people argue, there are actually numerous benefits to court mandated treatment for helping individuals recover from substance abuse. 

What is court mandated treatment? 

Court mandated treatment is when a judge rules that an individual needs to attend treatment for a mental health condition. Sometimes this is for individuals charged with a DUI; other times it is required in order for a parent to receive custody of their child. 

There are a number of court mandated treatments which might be required. Some of these include: 

  • Treatment instead of imprisonment – This is often seen in DUI cases where a first time offender is mandated substance abuse treatment instead of being sent to prison. Other times, this is determined when an individual is found not guilty on basis of a mental health condition and must instead attend treatment for as long as the court or the treatment center sees fit;
  • Receiving treatment as a condition of a benefit – This may be the case when one is released from jail early on parole, or is given a probation in order to attend treatment. By meeting with one’s parole or probation officer, the court is able to keep track of whether or not the person is following through on their commitment to substance use treatment;
  • Emergency mental health holds – When some poses a threat to themselves, others or their doctor, therapist or other medical personnel, they may be put on an emergency hold (typically lasting 72 hours) where the individual must undergo evaluation at psychiatric hospital or the like. 

While an individual might be reluctant to attend treatment required by a judge, there are many benefits one can experience through substance abuse treatment, court mandated or not. 

Does court mandated treatment work?

Whether or not court mandated treatment works relies on different factors, including: 

  • The counselor – It’s important to find a good, patient counselor experienced with clients who’ve been mandated treatment. These kinds of therapists understand that while their client might not be there if it wasn’t for the ruling of the judge, they are still an individual in need of compassionate and considerate care to help them achieve a life of freedom and peace;
  • The client – If the individual goes into treatment thinking it’s purely something they have to do to avoid jail, then it is unlikely they will get much out of treatment. However, if the client goes in with the mentality that this is a gift that will help them effectively reset their life and are diligent in attending treatment, they’ll likely see many benefits.

If the skill of the counselor and the motivation of the client line up, the success of court mandated treatment can be great.

Benefits of court mandated treatment

Court mandated treatment is not a perfect, one-and-done solution. It has flaws, with the biggest one being the fact that because the individual is mandated to go, they might be reluctant to open up to their counselor or even fail to show up to treatment entirely because of their lack of internal motivation. However, despite these challenges, there are benefits to court mandated treatment, including: 

  • Having access to mental health care – For some people, enrolling in a treatment facility might not have even been an option for them if not for the mandate. Therefore, being assigned treatment can offer these people a chance at recovery that was previously unavailable to them;
  • More motivation to finish treatment – While not everyone finishes treatment even when mandated, many people do see treatment through to the end as a result of its mandatory nature. This allows them to experience more benefits of treatment, as well as have more coping skills when it comes to avoiding relapse;
  • Benefits to mental health – Counseling overall is better for one’s mental health as it offers new perspectives, healthy coping mechanisms and a new way to handle the challenges of life as a result of one’s desire to change their lifestyle habits. Also, jail time has shown to have many negative effects on the mental health of inmates, so attending treatment, in fact, is a huge indirect mental health benefit. 

So long as a client is open to this alternative to imprisonment and is willing to work with their counselor, they can receive all these, and more, benefits associated with court mandated treatment. 

Reaching out for help

There are many options for clients to choose when it comes to a mental health facility for inpatient treatment. To get the most out of your court mandated treatment experience, consider Rehab After Work. Call 610-644-6464 today to get more information on policies and learn more about treatment options.

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