Adult Treatment Drug Court (ATDC)

Funding Agency: Cuyahoga County

The purpose of the Adult Treatment Drug Court (ATDC) project is to improve outcomes for 18- to 32-year-old opiate users in the Cuyahoga County Felony Drug Court by breaking the cycle of criminal behavior. This is being accomplished by closing a gap in the treatment continuum.

Begun Center staff are conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the ATDC including analysis of data gathered with the Global Appraisal of Individual Need (GAIN-I), GPRA data, and process data.

The objective of this program is to expand and/or enhance substance abuse treatment services in “problem-solving” courts which use the treatment drug court model in order to provide alcohol and drug treatment, recovery support services supporting substance abuse treatment, screening, assessment, case management, and program coordination to adult defendants/offenders.

Existing services are being enhanced through the provision of culturally-competent, evidence-based case management and age-appropriate, substance-specific AOD treatment.

Anticipated outcomes include, in the aggregate:

  • Increased Felony Drug Court retention rates
  • Increased treatment completion rates
  • Reductions in criminal activity, negative social consequences, and risky sexual behavior
  • Improved rates of abstinence from substance abuse
  • Increased levels of education or employment, and stable housing.

What Are Treatment Drug Courts?

Treatment Drug Courts are problem-solving courts, often used as an alternative to incarceration, that quickly identify substance-abusing offenders and place them under strict court monitoring and community supervision as well as provide the participant with effective treatment services. While these courts are being created at a high rate with over 2,100 in existence in 2008, many lack sufficient funding for substance abuse treatment.

Treatment Drug Courts represent the coordinated efforts of the judiciary, prosecution, defense bar, probation, law enforcement, mental health, social service, and treatment communities to actively intervene and break the cycle of substance abuse, addiction and crime. Stakeholders work together to give individual clients the opportunity to improve their lives, including recovery from substance use disorders, and develop the capacity and skills to become fully-functioning parents, employees and citizens.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) interest is to actively support and shape Adult Treatment Drug Courts so that clinical needs are met and clients are treated using evidence-based practices consistent with the disease model and the problem-solving model, rather than with the traditional court case-processing model. A long-term goal of this program is to build sustainable systems of care for adult persons needing treatment drug court services.

Adult Treatment Drug Courts is one of SAMHSA’s services grant programs. SAMHSA’s services grants are designed to address gaps in substance abuse and mental health prevention and treatment services and/or to increase the ability of States, units of local government, American Indian/Alaska Native Tribes and tribal organizations, and community- and faith-based organizations to help specific populations or geographic areas with serious, emerging mental health and substance abuse problems.

Principal Investigator: Margaret Baughman, PhD