Can participation in drug treatment courts reduce emergency department use? An evaluation.
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Drug treatment court evaluations often measure criminal recidivism. Further research is required to reflect any additional social benefits that may transpire from participation in this diversion program. To expand drug treatment court evaluations, the relationship between drug abuse and the use of emergency department services is considered. This study tests which participants’ characteristics predict successful completion of Durham’s Drug Treatment and Mental Health Court and if participation can reduce emergency department use. Results from Hypothesis One suggest that education, marital status and number of days in the program are significant predictors of program completion. Results from the second hypothesis confirm that number of emergency department visits while enrolled in drug treatment court has a significant positive relationship with emergency department use one year following programming. Recommendations to address drug treatment court participants’ ongoing use of emergency department services and areas for future research are discussed.