Eureka, Calif. residents seeking drug addiction recovery have benefited from going through Humboldt County’s drug court program.
The program, which recently celebrated 20 years, offers rehabilitation services to multiple patients and helps them reintegrate into the local community. The program has seen a 75 percent success rate among its graduates not committing further drug-related offences.
A former graduate of Humboldt’s drug court, John Remen works closely with other patients going through the program in his capacity as a lead substance abuse counselor at the Humboldt Recovery Center.
“Drug court still has the teeth,” Remen said. “They have the ability to redirect our clients back into custody if they continually relapse—which is unfortunate, but sometimes that’s what is needed for them to get more clean time to get them back on track. Then we’ll bring them back into residential treatment and give it another go.”
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are more than 3,100 drug courts in the country. However, their resources to assist patients in addiction recovery may be affected by many reasons, said Douglas B. Marlowe, senior scientific consultant for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
In a 2016 report Marlowe co-authored, one section stated the main reasons limiting the expansion of drugs courts were insufficient funding, limited treatment or supervision resources, and the political willpower to enact effective policy. These reasons may affect rural communities like Humboldt County the hardest.
Family dynamics, Humboldt County’s history as a marijuana mecca and shifts in its economy after losing its fishing and lumber industry, Remen said, have been reasons many locals turn to drug use.
“Some may not believe they can get better, may not believe in themselves, or the benefits of treatment, or that we believe we can help them,” Marlowe said.
He explained that although some people… (Continue Reading)