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Recovery courts to use grant money to expand services

People who are arrested for drug-related offenses in Tennessee may sometimes have problems with drug addiction or even mental health issues. These factors can complicate matters greatly and make moving on from a drug arrest harder than for people without addiction or mental health problems. This understanding is part of what has led Tennessee to establish its 20 drug recovery courts.

Recovery courts offer programs via which defendants can receive essential treatment and other services designed to address their underlying problems instead of simply the current drug charges. The philosophy behind these courts is that by providing assistance to people and helping them to overcome addiction or other problems, they may have a better chance of reintegrating into society and enjoying positive lives.

Two of the state's recovery courts have recently been awarded grant funds from a federal program called the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In total, the SAMHSA awarded a reported $15 million to a variety of programs. Together, the programs in Warren and Bradley Counties in Tennessee are to receive more than $575,000. Supporters of Tennessee's recovery courts indicate that the program may reduce the amount of time people spend in jail as well as lower costs to the counties.

Defendants who are accused of drug offenses may wish to talk with an attorney soon after being arrested. Learning about the charges and laws may be helpful in navigating the criminal defense process and potential options for treatment along the way.

Source: KnoxNews.com, "Tennessee drug courts get federal grants," Nov. 18, 2016

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