Substance Use Testing and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Reference Guide
This guide provides background information, a legal framework, and policy considerations for substance use testing and substance use disorder treatment in the federal criminal justice system.
Substance use disorders can be present in individuals involved in the criminal justice system. By themselves or in conjunction with other risk factors, substance use disorders can propel unlawful behavior. To mitigate unlawful behavior by someone with a substance use disorder, courts may impose conditions or sentencing alternatives that require an individual to participate in testing and treatment. Treatment services include detoxification, residential treatment, individual counseling, family counseling, group counseling, and medication. One or more of these services may be provided to a person who uses illegal drugs, abuses prescription drugs or alcohol, and/or suffers from a substance use disorder. These services provide a means to address an individual’s alcohol or drug use, thereby changing the behavior, and they provide additional monitoring tools to help officers satisfy their duties of supervision.
This guide provides a legal framework for imposing substance use testing and substance use disorder treatment, information on the types of substance use testing and substance use disorder treatment services available, and policy considerations for substance use testing and substance use disorder treatment as a supervision tool in the federal criminal justice system.1
History of Substance Use Disorder Treatment
In 1978, Congress enacted the Contract Services for Drug Dependent Federal Offenders Act, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 3672, which transferred the authority to contract for drug treatment services from the Attorney General to the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO). Just under a decade later, in 1987, the program became multidimensional when the AO was given authority to contract for persons with alcohol dependency. The program was renamed the Substance Abuse Treatment Program and later renamed the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program.
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- General Principles and Considerations
- Prerelease Custody
- Post-Conviction Supervision
- Graduated Sanction
1 This resource guide is for general information purposes only. It does not create any legal rights or set any precedent.