photo - courtroomGuiding Principles for Drug Therapy

Enlist The Assistance Of The Medical Community
A partnership with the local medical community is important to the success of any drug therapy program. Members of the medical community may assist the court in developing the medical protocols for the program, in monitoring patients in the program, and in gathering statistics on the outcomes of those in the program. They may also be willing to offer low-cost or no-cost examinations and prescriptions to low-income individuals in the program. In California, a large retail drug store chain agreed that its pharmacy staff would supervise the offender’s ingestion of naltrexone.

Determine Whether Defendant Is Motivated To Comply With Therapy
The defendant’s interest in and willingness to take naltrexone are important considerations. Appropriate candidates for the drug should be willing to be in a supportive relationship with a healthcare provider or support group to enhance treatment compliance and work toward a common goal of sobriety.

Review Benefits Of Therapy With Defendant

  • Naltrexone can help reduce the craving for alcohol and help people remain abstinent.

  • Most people do not report side effects from taking this drug; however, some people experience mild discomfort, which usually disappears in a few weeks.

  • Naltrexone will help people to maintain sobriety while completing
    a treatment program.

Discuss Costs
The probation department should discuss the cost of the drug with the defendant and how this cost will be covered (e.g., is there insurance coverage, can family members assist with the cost?, etc.). Although the cost may seem high (approximately $5/day), it may be less than the amount the defendant has been spending on alcohol.