Drug Court adds mental health track

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COLUMBIA – The 13th Circuit Court will be adding a Mental Health Track to the Drug Court in January.

The Boone County Drug Court is partnering with the Family Counseling Center to make this happen. It is for co-occurring disorders. 

“A lot of the folks that we work with have a substance use disorder, but they also have a mental illness that also either hasn’t ever been treated or isn’t being treated when they come into the program,” Commissioner Casey Clevenger said.

She said, historically, the Drug Court has not had the “resources to treat the mental illness.” But, the new partnership with the Family Counseling Center will give the Drug Court the resources it needs. 

People who go into the Drug Court are assessed for substance abuse treatment, and now they will be assessed for a mental illness at the Family Counseling Center. Those that are found to need assistance from the center will be able to get services such as a psychiatrist, therapy and medicine. 

Clevenger said the partnership will be a great benefit to participants of the program.

“With this treatment, with the access to a psychiatrist and individual therapy and medication, it’s just going to allow them to be more productive members of the community and hopefully have no further negative contacts with the criminal justice system,” she said.