Addiction, Recovery and the Justice System
Building a recovery-oriented system of care for justice-involved individuals in Washington County
Join us this May for a learning series to bring hope and healing to individuals impacted by addiction and involvement with the justice system in Washington County, starting with a four-part series of lunch-and-learn events, hosted by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and Washington County. These educational events are specifically aimed at helping professionals across Washington County better understand the disease of addiction and the multiple, evidence-based pathways to treatment and long-term recovery.
Through education, awareness, and connection, we can shift the trajectory of people’s lives and help them in engage in treatment earlier, come to hope and healing sooner, and reduce their involvement in the justice system.
Equity will be a recurring theme throughout the series. Marginalized groups in our community are impacted by addiction differently, and are disproportionately met with shame and punishment through our criminal justice system. Participants will learn about the historical context and current trends that illustrate these disparities, and the importance of supporting people in recovery with resources tailored to their individual needs.
Intended audience includes but is not limited to: judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, first responders, counselors, case works, mental health professionals and county officials or representatives who encounter individuals in the justice system who are experiencing legal issues related to addiction.
View the flyer here.
Quick links for registration (Please register for each session)
- Thursday, May 13: Understanding Addiction and Trauma | click here to register
- Thursday, May 20: Understanding Racial Equity and Substance Use Criminalization | click here to register
- Thursday, May 27: Understanding MORE Support in Washington County | click here to register
- Thursday, June 3: Understanding Hope and Recovery | click here to register
This learning series is pursuing accreditation for continuing legal education hours. Please check back for updates.
SESSION 1: Understanding Addiction and Trauma
Thursday, May 13th from noon-1:30 p.m. | REGISTER FOR THIS SESSION
The first session will examine the neurobiology and neuroscience of addiction and trauma and explain why people who struggle with addiction continue to make the “choices” they make. Participants will learn that what is commonly called relapse is really a recurrence of symptoms of a chronic disease, and not necessarily a moral failing. This understanding offers individuals who work in the justice system a new and more accurate perspective in situations that can be challenging.
Session 1 learning objectives:
- Describe the underlying neurobiology for substance use disorders and the disease model of addiction
- Reduce stigma and misunderstandings about substance use disorders
- Define adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
- Explore emerging evidence for shared physiology between ACEs/trauma, substance use disorders, and co-occurring disorders
- Brief review of how attachment and trauma-informed approaches can enhance engagement with individuals with substance use disorder and trauma
- Case vignette and discussion to better understand how to deal with our own reaction to interacting with individuals with these substance use disorders and/or trauma
SESSION 2: Understanding Racial Equity and Substance Use Criminalization
Thursday, May 20th from noon-1:30 p.m. | REGISTER FOR THIS SESSION
The second session will include a keynote presentation and discussion on the significant racial inequities present in the way that our criminal justice system addresses people with substance use disorders. Participants will learn about the historical context and current trends that illustrate these disparities, and the importance of supporting people in recovery with resources tailored to their individual needs.
Session 2 learning objectives:
- Provide historical context on the criminalization of substance use, including deliberately racist policies that have targeted the Black community and other groups in the US
- Describe the racial disparities in drug-related incarceration, overdose numbers, and treatment access
- Explain how the current opioid crisis has been addressed with more compassion and evidence-based treatment compared to other examples of substance use crises in our community that have had different racial trends
- Discuss the benefits of providing options for culturally-specific, trauma-informed recovery services
- Emphasize the importance for all individuals in our Washington County system to continually examine their implicit biases and work to become a support to those in recovery instead of a barrier
SESSION 3: Understanding MORE Support in Washington County
Thursday, May 27th from noon-1:30 p.m. | REGISTER FOR THIS SESSION
The third session will discuss current efforts to improve service delivery for people with substance use disorders in Washington County’s criminal justice system. It will highlight the MORE (Mental health and Opioid Re-Entry) Project, with a focus on the newly established Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Program in the Washington County Jail.
Session 3 learning objectives:
- Discuss the history, goals, and objectives of the MORE Project, a collaborative behavioral health initiative in Washington County
- Review substance use and mental health-related data from the Washington County Jail
- Introduce the Sequential Intercept Model and its alignment with the action items identified by the MORE Project
- Define recovery-oriented system of care and explain the justice system’s role
- Review the current status of the opioid crisis and its impact on incarcerated individuals
- Describe Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) and their benefits in the correctional setting
- Overview of the new MOUD Program in the Washington County Jail, including security considerations and risk mitigation in the jail setting
- Explain the importance of an equity-centered approach in program development and service delivery for substance use and mental health resources in the Washington County criminal justice system
- Looking ahead to additional expansion of support for people with substance use disorders in Washington County’s criminal justice system
SESSION 4: Understanding Hope and Recovery
Thursday, June 3rd from noon-1:30 p.m. | REGISTER FOR THIS SESSION
The closing session will feature a panel discussion with people who have lived experience with addiction and whose recovery journeys have intersected with the justice system. Panelists will share their experiences in recovery and perspectives on how our justice system can support recovery for justice-involved people with addiction.
Session 4 learning objectives:
- Understand the material covered in the series through the perspective of people who have lived experience