Could Online Drug Education Keep Courts from Acting as Emergency Rooms?

by Mike Miller April 14, 2014

With the surge in drug abuse, court rooms across the nation have become like emergency rooms. Take Boston, Massachusetts for example.

In 2012, the district courts in Quincy, Brockton and Plymouth ranked first, third and fourth in the state in the number of referrals for involuntary commitments to drug-abuse treatment centers. As reported in

Quincy District Court topped Boston’s eight courts with 464 such referrals. Boston saw 313, Brockton saw 186 and Plymouth saw 163 in the same period.

For court officials it is a terribly depressing situation. They are inundated by bright, young people who are ravaged by addiction issues. They can tell, sometimes just by looking at them, that many of these kids are not going to make it. In one court that tested youth offenders for drugs 3,000 of 7,000 urine samples tested positive for opiates in a recent year.

Basically, the court has turned into a sort of emergency room, only there are no doctors and nurses. Social workers can’t do their evaluations. People are deteriorating right before their eyes, forcing court personnel to call 911 from the courthouse.

The involuntary commitments are intended to help addicts get treatment at specialized facilities – one for women and one for men in Brockton. Patients stay for an average of 30 days.

What do you think of this situation? Do you think this will help alleviate the problem of drugs?

Add comment

  Country flag

  • Comment
  • Preview