Nine “recovery courts” will be created in Tennessee to combat substance abuse and mental health issues, state officials announced this week. They will combine services currently found in drug courts, mental health courts and veterans courts.
The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance abuse Services said the new courts will serve juvenile and adult addicted nonviolent offenders, whose participation will be voluntary, according to the Associated Press.
“We are facing a major prescription drug problem in our state,” Department Commissioner Douglas Varney said in a news release. “We need to focus all of our resources in the most efficient, effective and collaborative way to maximize our impact on this issue and drug abuse overall. And because so many people who are dealing with a substance abuse issue also have a mental health issue … these recovery courts will be able to help them get all the help that they need at one time and in one location.”
The new courts will incorporate intensive judicial supervision, treatment services, sanctions and incentives, the article notes. State officials said that while these courts often exist separately in other states, Tennessee will integrate them “in an effort to combine similar issues of mental health, substance abuse, and veterans affairs in one location and to best utilize the available funds.”