Dear Legal Professionals,
The legal system at all levels has dealt with the consequences of addiction for many years. Judges, attorneys, probation & parole officers, and law enforcement officials have often found themselves in the position of monitoring or directly supervising individuals trying to overcome an addictive disorder.
A large number of probationers, and individuals awaiting a court appearance, have sought addiction treatment as they became involved with the criminal justice system. Some of these individuals specifically suffered with a long term opiate addiction. This cycle of addiction often led to desperate choices, and robbed these individuals of the power to make rational decisions.
If you are a legal professional, you will no doubt have the difficult task of trying to determine which options are appropriate for the person & situation you are trying to manage. Of those options, MAT (Medically Assisted Treatment) may be the answer for the opioid or alcohol addicted individual.
Court systems vary considerably across the country in their overall understanding of the treatment for addictive disorders. Some legal professionals may not understand opiate addiction or the need for MAT (Medically Assisted Treatment) Programs. As a result of this, you may find yourself one day needing to advocate for a client’s admission into a treatment program.
Often times, intensive outpatient programs (that do not have a medication-assisted component) are simply not sufficient to help the opiate addicted client achieve lasting sobriety. Consequently, the opiate dependent client may suffer with severe opiate withdrawal which fuels continued opiate use. This can result in (+) drug tests which are perceived as “non-compliance” and which can lead to probation violation & incarceration.
As a result of being violated, clients then receive punishment instead of the appropriate treatment. The greater point here being that referring the client into a MAT program may quite possibly lead to treatment success and the avoidance of criminal sanctions.
As a legal professional, your willingness to become educated on the nature of addictive disease can be extremely beneficial to addicted persons that you encounter in the legal system. Accessing substance abuse professionals can also be very helpful to you in learning about local treatment options and determining an appropriate level of care. For prescription medication, heroin, and alcoholdependent individuals, MAT programs have been shown to be very effective. And support from the legal community for addiction treatment is vitally important.
If you have clients that you feel can benefit from a structured MAT treatment program that combines medication, therapy, and outside support to gain the most successful chances of becoming free from addiction, please do not hesitate to contact us. In addition, if you would like to learn more about our programs, we can set us a meeting at one of our locations across Hampton Roads, Richmond, or the Outer Banks or we could even come to you. To contact us about our program you can simply call us at (757) 321-0795 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your consideration,
Sergey Zhitar, M.D.
Medical Director Right Path Treatment Centers
Board Certified in Addiction Medicine and Internal Medicine