The entire United States is in the midst of one of the worst drug crises of the century. In the last decade, death rates as a direct result of opioid overdoses have risen among individuals between the ages of 25 and 44 in almost every racial group in the U.S. After a century of decreases, the death rate in this age group grew over 8% between 2010 and 2015. In Maryland specifically, opioid overdoses now rank with cancer, strokes and heart attacks among the top killers in the state. In 2016 alone nearly 2,000 people died from heroin and other opioid overdoses, about double the number of deaths in 2015. With that astonishing number in mind and several new news reports a day on how the crisis is worsening, it’s no wonder Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed into law several new pieces of legislation aimed at educating the public and establishing measures that would serve to abate the current crisis. Governor Hogan also declared a state of emergency in March of this year saying, “This is about taking an all-hands-on-deck approach so that together we can save the lives of thousands of Marylanders.”
While the current state of affairs concerning the opioid crisis is certainly grim, there is an important side to it all we must remember: there are survivors of drug addiction and overdose. And those people, now more than ever, need access to rehabilitation services that will help them overcome their addiction. While some are there of their own free will and desire to get better, drug and alcohol abusers who have gotten in trouble with the law might find themselves looking at court-ordered rehabilitation in exchange for time spent in prison.
So what types of services are available to the people who want or effectively need to get better? There are numerous facilities in our area for folks who want to make a change and get better; as well as several facilities that are court-approved for those who have been ordered by a judge to complete a treatment program. It’s important to note the difference between the two. If you have been ordered by a judge or Drug Court to complete a treatment program, you will need to choose a facility from a list of court-approved facilities.
What to expect at a court-approved treatment facility:
We recently spoke to a local facility that takes on a lot of court-ordered cases, and while they can’t speak for every facility in our area, these tips can serve to give you a general idea of what to expect when you visit any facility.
- Fees: In most cases and at most facilities, if you have Medicare, you’re covered. If you don’t have Medicare or other insurance, prior to doing intake at the facility, you can apply for the Maryland State Health Insurance Program. Once you provide proof of your application, your fees are likely to be waived.
- Intake Expectations: Many facilities only accept walk-ins for intakes and you can expect initial intake to take about 2 ½ hours. You will also likely be requested to complete a urinalysis test
- Types of Treatment: Generally the facilities offer either individual and/or group counseling on an out-patient basis ranging from one session to a long series of sessions on an outpatient basis depending on what you and your counselor determine is your level of addiction. For those experiencing significant addiction, you may be recommended for inpatient treatment which is usually for a minimum of approximately 28 days. There is a general shortage of inpatient facilities and you may have to wait awhile before there is an available space for you.
Remember, before you do intake, pay the fees and attend treatment sessions, make sure the provider is court-approved so that you are given credit by the judge for your participation.
If you are in trouble, please give us a call!
In Maryland, the focus of law enforcement and the government is on treatment of nonviolent offenders who have a substance abuse problem, while punishing those who deal the drugs, all in an effort to provide a stronger and safer community. Keeping dangerous drug-dealing criminals off the streets, while prioritizing treatment over incarceration for those who are addicted, allows law enforcement to target those who pose the most serious threat to the public. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of court-approved treatment facilities for these individuals, so resources are spread thin and people are getting caught up in a very dangerous waiting game- teetering on the edge of sobriety and jail time if they slip up.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a drug addiction problem and need legal representation, please reach out to the attorneys at Ferrante and Dill, LLC as soon as possible. Let our criminal defense attorneys help you through this difficult time. Give us a call today at (410) 535-6100 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.