Court-Ordered Outpatient Treatment

There may come a time in a person’s life when their drug or alcohol addiction becomes so out of control, they don’t realize their behavior is wrong. It’s a time when the addiction may be putting their life or the lives of others at risk. This is when a court could intervene in an addict’s life and force them to receive treatment. A rehab ordered by a court is a mandated treatment program. This is something done to help an individual who has a serious drug or alcohol addiction. They may have committed a crime or have had a loved one request a court to get involved and help with their addiction.


It is possible during a court-ordered rehab, a person will complete it as part of their probation. An individual may have to do this while they wait for trial. If rehab is mandatory, a person does not have a choice, they must go to it. It is possible that even if a person didn’t want to go to rehab, but is forced into it because of being ordered by a court, they will experience benefits. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the level of recovery for individuals who are ordered to rehab by a court is as high as people who voluntarily attend such a program.

Avoid Jail

One of the significant benefits for people who attend rehab because of a court order is how they can do this rather than be sent off to prison or jail. It gives individuals a chance to get treatment for the disease of addiction controlling their decisions and behavior. Being given an opportunity to treat an addiction is preferred by most people rather than being incarcerated for committing a crime.

Emergency Admission

An application to a court for involuntary evaluation and order to outpatient treatment could involve an application for emergency admission. It must be proven a person could experience serious illness or harm or is highly likely to inflict physical damage to another person if not hospitalized as soon as possible. This application must clearly state the specific nature of the problem with a summary of important observations that are the basis for the application.

Involuntary Rehab

Someone can ask a court to issue an order for involuntary rehab. This is often requested by the loved one of an addict. The person who is the focus of the order will need to have an assessment from a mental health professional as well as a police officer.

Family Disputes

A judge can order a person to attend outpatient treatment as a way to regain custody or visitation rights of their children. It is possible for children to have been removed from a home due to a parent’s addiction. In order to gain access to their children, a judge could require a person to be sober for a specified length of time.


When someone is given court-ordered outpatient treatment, they could receive various services.

  • Detox – They will be involved in a detox program, so they can take the time necessary to deal with their withdrawal symptoms. An addict will be under the care of an addiction specialist or a physician during this time. Medication may be given to decrease the challenges during this uncomfortable period.
  • Group Counseling – A person will be able to speak with other addicts in a controlled setting to learn about their addiction stories of others and more.
  • Individual Counseling – An addict will spend one-on-one time with a trained therapist.
  • Addiction And Recovery Classes – These will help an addict to learn how they became an addict and the best way to get sober.
  • Aftercare Planning – This helps an addict get the services and help necessary to remain sober once they leave a treatment program.


The length of time spent in court-ordered outpatient treatment will vary depending on the laws of the state where the court order has been issued. How long a person stays in the rehab will also be based on the terms of the court order. Addicts need to realize if they quit their court-ordered outpatient treatment there will be consequences. They will likely be held in contempt of court and can be sent to jail.

Nobody likes to be forced to do something. This is especially true for someone dealing with an addiction. Being sent to outpatient rehab because of a court order can save a person’s life. Do you feel like a court order is necessary to get your loved one into an outpatient treatment program? If so, call us at 833-820-2922. We can talk to you now as we have counselors available 24 hours a day.