Drug Courts Emphasize Long-Term Recovery Over Punishment

In traditional criminal court cases, defendants found guilty of drug charges are punished with long periods of incarceration. Drug court programs recognize that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that affects behavior and impulse control. Therefore, the drug court’s primary goal is not punishment, it is the treatment of the disease. To motivate treatment, the court grants rewards for progress and sanctions for failure to meet program requirements.

How Do Drug Courts Work?

Drug court programs are for people charged with or convicted of criminal offenses, are likely to re-offend, and are experiencing serious substance use disorders. There is no universal model for drug court programs but there are two common ways in which people enter drug court:

Pre-trial: Defendants who meet eligibility requirements are diverted from traditional court proceedings into drug court before pleading to a charge. This is also known as deferred prosecution.

Post-adjudication: Defendants who meet eligibility requirements plead guilty to their charges, and their sentences are deferred or suspended while they participate in the drug court program.

What Makes Drug Courts Unique?

Participants who complete the drug court program can have their underlying criminal offenses dismissed or expunged. If a participant fails to complete the program, their case will be processed as it normally would in the traditional criminal justice system.

Drug court programs often include:

The Results

Drug courts are operating with incredible success across the country. They are effective at getting people into treatment — a key step in long-term sobriety.

People who complete drug court programs are significantly less likely to be arrested again, compared to those who are sentenced with traditional punishments. The most successful drug courts reduce recidivism by as much as 35 to 40 percent.

Drug courts also are cost-beneficial. The National Institute of Justice concluded from a decade-long study of a drug court that “reduced recidivism and other long-term program outcomes resulted in public savings of $6,744 on average per participant.

The Role of OC Revive in Drug Court Programs

At OC Revive, we specialize in dual diagnosis treatment. Located in Fountain Valley, CA, we offer a holistic approach to tackling both addiction and mental health issues.

We work closely with local drug court programs to offer comprehensive treatment options. Our services help participants adhere to drug court regulations while addressing the underlying mental health issues.

Feel free to contact OC Revive at 866-208-2390 for more information and to explore treatment options that may be right for you.


The primary goal of a drug court is not punishment but treatment. It focuses on treating addiction as a chronic brain disease that impacts behavior and impulse control.

Drug court programs are designed for individuals who are charged with or convicted of criminal offenses, have a likelihood of re-offending, and are grappling with serious substance use disorders.

Upon successful completion, the participant’s underlying criminal offenses may be dismissed or expunged.

Drug court programs often include frequent and random drug tests, clinical treatment for substance use disorders, individualized case management services, required court appearances, and a system of rewards and sanctions.

Yes, drug court programs have been proven to be effective in reducing recidivism rates by as much as 35 to 40 percent.

According to the National Institute of Justice, drug courts are cost-beneficial, saving an average of $6,744 per participant due to reduced recidivism and other long-term outcomes.

California Prime Recovery specializes in dual diagnosis treatment, offering a comprehensive approach to both addiction and mental health issues. We work closely with local drug court programs to help participants adhere to regulations and address their mental health needs.

We are located in Fountain Valley, CA.

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