Second chances are what the Hamilton County, Ohio Drug Court is all about. The 12-to-18-month program provides additional support and structure, while requiring participants to receive intensive outpatient treatment that offers medications like Suboxone and Vivitrol. Individuals who may be facing time in prison are able to choose this opportunity after engaging in crime related to their substance use disorder.
Justice Nicole Sanders was elected in 2020 after a twenty-year tenure of the former presiding judge over drug court. She believes in science and evidence-based treatment models. Her philosophy is that doctors are wiser than judges regarding the treatment of those battling substance use disorders and that drug addiction is a disease and not a crime.
“We try to remind people that there is hope here,” she said. “Every life has value and that as long as you show up, try and be honest that the drug court staff will be here for you, and we will help you through your journey.”
The Importance of Housing
While treatment services are essential for the participants in drug court to be successful, so is housing. Without having stable housing, individuals have a tough time adhering to the structure and requirements of any court program. It is necessary for all support services to be integrated…the recovery housing provider working hand in hand with the treatment provider and drug court. Sunstone hopes to deliver improved outcomes for the residents who are part of Judge Sander’s drug court.
A New Approach to Recovery Housing
Sunstone is a new concept of recovery housing in Cincinnati, Ohio. The approach is created around the journey of someone engaged in intensive outpatient treatment programming, along with other programs like drug court. The team administering the housing program is well versed in what is needed to support people who are working to be successful while in drug court. For those who find drug court & intensive outpatient treatment challenging without safe housing, Sunstone could be the answer to changing their trajectory.