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10. Graduation and recovery rates

Three out of four drug court gradates do not re-offend, according to nationwide statistics. Drug courts' graduation rates are nearly double completion rates for traditional voluntary rehab.

Bureau of Justice statistics and National Association of Drug Court Professionals report indicates 75% of graduates do not re-offend. A 2011 analysis of my District 9A drug court showed 74% of our graduates had no criminal charges for five years after graduation. A 2016 analysis of 9A drug court finds six out of 10 graduates had no criminal convictions for five to nine years after graduation. The 2016 study's cohort of graduates is the same group of graduates who had an average of 24 charges each before they entered drug court.

Rates of completion of rehab programs: Person County was in line with the national averages for completion rates. Drug court graduation rates at 35% (as reported in national studies) are 75% higher than the 20% completion rate of addicts in traditional voluntary treatment models. The rate at which alcoholics maintain sobriety after they enter voluntary treatment is in the range of 5% according to Drinking: A Love Story. Both national and Person county survey data from 2011 District 9A data indicate that 35% of those who enter the program will actually graduate from drug court.

If an addict is put in a treatment program before his addiction evolves from pursuit of drug-induced ecstasy to avoidance of pain, the likelihood of success is diminished. An addict's responsiveness to rehab depends in part on whether his primary motive is sheer pleasure, or whether his primary motive is using drugs to keep from feeling like he wants to die. If an addicts' drug use is all about pleasure and nothing about withdrawal, therapists will have a hard time convincing him to walk away from "the best sensation of his life." It will be difficult in the extreme talk an addict away from his drug when he thinks, "That crack was like all the orgasms I ever had all rolled into one." Or, "I never felt as calm and relaxed as when I was on opiates." When the addict is pursuing and sometimes achieving ecstasy the therapist can offer the user precious little motivation. On the other hand, if the addict's motivation is to mitigate his withdrawal symptoms, therapists have something to offer. The therapists has something to offer when the addict's motivation is that he/she feels like he/she will die of pain and discomfort if he/she does not get another hit. There is little the therapist can offer to the user who wants the sensation of a lifetime, but an addict who has grown "sick and tired of being sick and tired" might be more ready to consider a life without withdrawal pains.