A courtroom is not a place where you expect to find scenes of celebration and tears of joy. Unless, of course it’s a Drug Court. This May, Drug Courts throughout Wisconsin will join nearly 4,000 such programs nationwide in celebrating National Drug Court Month. This year alone, more than 150,000 individuals nationwide who entered the justice system due to addiction will receive life saving treatment and the chance to repair their lives, reconnect with their families, and find long term recovery. National Drug Court Month is a celebration of the lives restored by Drug Courts, and it sends the powerful message that these programs must be expanded to reach more people in need.

When a person reaches a point in their life when their drug use has made their life completely unmanageable and in extreme chaos, they find themselves thinking about seeking help. They cannot stand to continue living the life they are living, but their mind cannot comprehend a life without drugs and alcohol. Drug Courts represent a compassionate approach to the ravages of addiction. Drug Courts have proven that a combination of accountability and compassion saves lives. Rather than continue to allow individuals with long histories of addiction and crime to cycle through the justice system at great expense to the public, Drug Courts use the leverage of the court to keep them engaged in treatment long enough to be successful.

Drug Courts are the single most successful criminal justice intervention for seriously addicted offenders. Proven to save lives, save money, and reduce crime, these courts:

  • Treat substance use disorders
  • Treat mental health needs
  • Deliver services for lifelong recovery
  • Secure education, employment, and housing
  • Produce tax-paying, productive community members
  • Break the cycle of addiction in families
  • Reduce re-arrests and re-incarcerations
  • Reduce substance use and overdoses
  • Reduce emergency room admissions
  • Reduce foster care placements

All while by:

  • Providing intense supervision
  • Providing individualized, long term treatment
  • Changing participants thinking and behavior
  • Demanding accountability
  • Improving public safety
  • Saving taxpayer’s money

Recovery is possible! It is the act, action and process of returning to a normal state, the restoration of something lost or forgotten, the chance to resurrect something that was thought forever broken, the renewal of belief in oneself, a difficult active ongoing struggle, and most
importantly a most worthy endeavor. We believe in you! We will give you the support and encouragement, teaching you the tools needed to live a clean and sober life all while holding you accountable.

When one person rises out of substance use and crime, we all rise. If you would like more information regarding the Burnett County Drug Court please contact Tessa Anderson, Drug Court Coordinator at 715-349-7600 ext. 2279. Email: tanderson@burnettcounty.org

Submitted by: Tessa Anderson, Burnett County Drug Court Coordinator

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