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

“One of the biggest challenges for drug courts is effectively working with participants with co-occurring disorders. By definition, persons with the dual diagnosis of both substance use disorders and mental illnesses have co-occurring disorders ... every adult drug court can achieve positive outcomes for persons with co-occurring disorders-if the court is committed to doing so. With some creativity and thoughtful planning, most persons with co-occurring disorders can successfully participate in drug courts” (p. 1). This publication explains very clearly how to ensure this by utilizing six critical steps. Topics covered include: three treatment court models; the need for flexibility; overlapping populations; step 1-know who your participants are and what they need by using the quadrant model, screening, and assessment; step 2-adapt your court structure; step 3--expand your treatment options; step 4--target your case management and community supervision; step 5-expand mechanisms for collaboration; and step 6-educate your team.