Collier County Awarded $500,000 Federal Grant to Enhance Drug Court Program, Combat Opioid Epidemic

November 17th, 2020

Naples, Fl – David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC), Collier County’s only comprehensive, not-for-profit behavioral health provider serving children, adults and families, announced that through a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) three-year federal grant, Collier County Community and Human Services received $500,000 for the Collier County Drug Court program.

The funds were made possible through the BJA Adult Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court Discretionary Grant Program which provides financial and technical assistance to states, state courts, local courts, units of local government and tribal governments to develop, implement and enhance Drug Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts. BJA grants help fight the addiction crisis looming over the United States, dramatically impacting crime victims, children, families, first responders and communities at large.

Drug courts have been demonstrated to reduce recidivism and substance use among high-risk, high-need participants and increase their likelihood of successful rehabilitation.

These courts integrate evidence-based substance use disorder treatment, mandatory drug testing, sanctions and incentives, and transitional services in judicially supervised court settings.

Since 1999, Collier County has partnered with DLC in collaboration with the 20th Judicial Circuit State’s Attorney’s Office and Public Defender’s Office, Florida Department of Corrections, Circuit Court, Office of Court Administration, and Collier County Sheriff’s Office to implement the Collier Drug Court program. DLC provides the treatment services provided through the program which includes access to case management, outpatient, inpatient and residential substance use and co-occurring mental health treatment, peer support, medication-assisted treatment and trauma-incident reduction.

The goal of this enhancement funding is to improve the Collier County Drug Court’s capability to identify all drugs of misuse through alcohol and other drug testing activities; improve retention/completion rates; and support participants and their families in long-term recovery.

The funds will specifically help expand and provide more frequent drug testing; enhance data collection and evaluation; and enhance support through the addition of a Peer Support Specialist to the treatment team. The Peer Support specialist will help Drug Court enhance its Recovery-Oriented System of Care (ROSC)–an emerging best practice which utilizes individuals in recovery to develop a more complete network of recovering persons and families who support each other in personal, economic, housing and vocational development.

In March 2020, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals named the Collier County Drug Court program a Mentor Drug Court. Only eight mentor courts in the country have the distinction, making it an example to the nation. The recognition highlights the unique sense of collaboration and commitment to evidence-based practice and high standards for this type of a program.

“We greatly appreciate our collaboration with the County and our Drug Court partners,” said Scott Burgess, DLC Chief Executive Officer. “By working together to further enhance Drug Court, we are saving the lives of individuals with substance use disorders, strengthening families, and enhancing community safety through evidence-based treatment and practices that promote honesty, personal responsibility, wellness and recovery.”

“Community and Human Services is pleased to continue to partner with the David Lawrence Center on this critical project serving our community,” said Kristi Sonntag, Collier County Community and Human Services Director.

Southwest Florida nonprofit David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) is a national leader providing compassionate, advanced, and exceptional mental health, substance use, and integrated healthcare solutions, available for children, adolescents and adults. DLC’s innovative treatment includes inpatient, outpatient, residential, and community-based services – a comprehensive system of care funded by community and government support. Each year, DLC serves more than 9,000 people through over 290,000 treatment sessions. To learn more, please call 239-455-8500.

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