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Drug court may be a solution for those facing felony drug charges

People who have been arrested and are facing felony drug charges in Georgia have many concerns. One of them is likely the fact that they will no longer have access to their substance of choice. Substance use disorders are recognized as health conditions, and access to treatment is critical. Fortunately, in Fulton County, there is a drug court program that ensures assistance for addicts who qualify to go through this alternative court system.

The Fulton County Felony Adult Drug Court program may allow offenders to avoid prison time, but it is not a matter of walking away from the charges. There are a number of officials and professionals who play a role in the program, including the public defender and the District Attorney's Office, the probation department and treatment providers.

The process involves mandatory participation in chemical dependency treatment and Moral Recognition Therapy, as well as other requirements and a fine. Charges are not dropped until the offender has completed and graduated from the program, which may last six to 18 months.

Drug courts are becoming more and more available to people facing felony drug charges because research shows these programs work, according to the National Institute of Justice. Graduates from drug court have a much lower rate of re-arrest. It is also less expensive to send a person through the drug court system rather than the criminal justice system. 

Factors such as a proper assessment, effective treatment and other variables may make a difference between obtaining and maintaining recovery or relapse and re-arrest. Ultimately, though, the success of the program depends on the person who is completing it.

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