Drug Court

Chester County Drug Court

Facts About Drug Court

Drug Court is a court-supervised treatment program for nonviolent offenders with a drug or alcohol addiction who have drug charges, or DUI and drug charges in Chester County. Like all of the other treatment programs in Chester County, Drug Court is a voluntary program and, upon successful completion, will permit the dismissal and expungement of charges. Unlike the other treatment programs, however, Drug Court participants are required to make frequent court appearances, submit to random drug tests and participate in drug and alcohol treatment. Participants who exhibit compliant behavior are rewarded. Participants who are not compliant may be placed into custody, moved back to the previous phase and may be ultimately removed from the program.

Participants should expect to be in the program for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of two years. The length of time depends on how well each individual progresses through the four phases as outlined below. To move from phase to phase, participants must be in compliance with their individual requirements and remain clean for 90 days.

Requirements To Apply

The minimum requirements to apply for the Drug Court program are:

  • You must be charged with a drug offense or first DUI and drug offense.
  • You must have a drug addiction problem.
  • You must not be currently on probation or parole.
  • You may not have a record for any crime of violence.
  • You must be legally residing in the United States.
  • You must agree to waive your right to a Preliminary Hearing.
  • You must follow instructions of the Bail Investigator.

In addition to the requirements above, you will be required to complete a Drug Court application, an Application for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program (for DUI cases), and a drug and alcohol assessment.

Phases Of Drug Court

Drug Court is a four-phase program that lasts for a minimum of one year. Participants will graduate from phase to phase after 90 days and if they have successfully completed all requirements for each phase and the general Drug Court requirements as outlined below.

PHASE 1

  • Concept: Recovery and Responsibility to Self
  • Requirements:
    • Report to PO weekly
    • Drug Court attendance every one to three weeks
    • Random urine tests
    • Drug and alcohol treatment
    • Regular attendance at self-help sobriety group
    • Start seeking employment or vocational training

PHASE 2

  • Concept: Maintenance of Recovery and Responsibility to Others
  • Requirements:
    • Report to PO every other week
    • Drug Court attendance every three to four weeks
    • Random urine tests
    • Drug and alcohol treatment
    • Regular attendance at self-help sobriety group
    • Start seeking employment or vocational training
    • Actively paying restitution, court fees or treatment costs

PHASE 3

  • Concept: Reinforce a Clean, Sober and Legal Lifestyle
  • Requirements:
    • Report to PO monthly
    • Drug Court attendance every four to six weeks
    • Random urine tests
    • Follow treatment plan
    • Maintain employment or approved use of time
    • Actively paying restitution, court fees or treatment costs
    • Complete Phase 3 Project

PHASE 4

  • Concept: Relapse Prevention
  • Requirements:
    • Report to PO as directed
    • Drug Court attendance if required by the judge
    • Random urine tests
    • Follow treatment plan
    • Maintain employment or approved use of time
    • Participate in Drug Court Support Group

Drug Testing

While in the first three phases, you will be assigned a designated color and number for drug-testing purposes. Random drug testing is one of the most important aspects of Drug Court and must be taken seriously.

Procedure

  • Call the testing hotline at 610-344-4455 each day, Sunday through Friday between 9:00 pm and 7:30 am.
  • Listen for the color/number that is being tested.
  • If your color/number is being tested – you must report to Adult Probation between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm the following day for a drug test.
    • On Saturday test days, you will report to Human Services at 520 East Lancaster Ave in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, between 8:00 am and 10:30 am.

Sanctions

You will be sanctioned for missing a random test, diluting or adulterating samples or attempting to submit fake urine as follows:

  • First missed: 24 hours incarceration
  • Second missed: 72 hours incarceration
  • Third missed: one week incarceration
  • Fourth missed: removal from the program
  • Diluting/Adulterating: counted as a positive
  • Submitting a fake urine sample: prosecuted for “Furnishing a Drug-Free Urine”

Prohibited

The program prohibits use of the following medications because they interfere with drug testing and can result in unwanted positive tests:

  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, Xanax,  etc.
  • Muscle relaxers such as Flexeril
  • Narcotic pain medication such as Darvocet, Oxycontin, Percocet,  etc.
  • Sleep Aids such as Ambien or Soma
  • Stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin

Alternatives

You should ask your doctors and treatment providers for alternatives for the following medications that may cause a cross-reaction with drug testing:

  • Clarithromycin
  • Effexor
  • Lamictal
  • Protonix
  • Sustiva
  • Zantac
  • Zoloft

Alcohol

You will be submitted to sensitive alcohol testing. Because the tests are so sensitive, you must limit your exposure to substances that contain ethyl alcohol. It is your responsibility to read product labels to determine whether products and substances you use contain ethyl alcohol. Use of the following products that contain ethyl alcohol will be considered a violation of Drug Court rules and will not be allowed as an excuse for a positive result:

  • Cough syrups and other liquid medications
  • Food and other ingestible products that contain ethyl alcohol
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Hygiene products that contain ethyl alcohol
  • Mouthwash and breath strips
  • Nonalcoholic beer and wine
  • Solvents and lacquers

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