U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Six Steps to Improve Your Drug Court Outcomes for Adults with Co-Occurring Disorders

NCJ Number
Henry J. Steadman; Roger H. Peters; Christine Carpenter; Kim T. Mueser; Norma D. Jaeger; Richard B. Gordon; Carol Fisler; Stephen Goss; Eric Olson; Fred C. Osher; Chanson D. Noether; Carolyn Hardin
Date Published
April 2013
28 pages
This fact sheet presents six steps to help drug court practitioners better serve persons with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
Each step in this document addresses one of these keys: 1) know who your participants are and what they need; 2) customize your court's structure, processes, and treatment to modify behavior and achieve successful outcomes; 3) successful treatment of people with these co-occurring disorders requires expanding treatment options in order to fully address the serious mental illness and its interactions with drug or alcohol use; 4) target case management and community supervision to facilitate multiple team members sharing responsibilities and coordinating activities with and on behalf of participants; 5) collaboration is fundamental to team efforts to reduce criminal recidivism and foster individual recovery and prosocial integration into the community; and 6) education of the treatment court team is a cornerstone in the foundation for success. Each adult drug court can achieve positive outcomes for persons with co-occurring disorders. With some creativity and thoughtful planning, most persons with co-occurring disorders can successfully participate in drug courts. To effectively work with persons with mental illnesses co-occurring with substance use disorders, your court will need to understand and implement the six keys to success. Tables, figure, and references