Drug Court Participant's Handbook

What is Drug Court | Why Choose Drug Court | Basic Rules | Treatment | What We Do for You | Sanctions | Rewards | Testing | Common Questions | Your Responsibilities | Important Phone Numbers



What is Drug Court?

  • Drug Court is designed for people who have criminal charges and an addiction to drugs/alcohol.
  • Drug Court is about breaking the cycle of addiction and criminal behavior.
  • Drug Court is for people who admit they have a problem with drugs/alcohol.
  • Drug Court is an intensive treatment program that takes a lot of hard work.
  • Drug Court is for people who want to make positive, long lasting changes in their lives.
  • Drug Court is not an easy way to avoid jail or other consequences related to criminal behavior.
  • Drug Court is not for people who think they can handle their addiction or drug problems alone.
  • Drug Court is not a “quick fix” to difficult situations.

The Binghamton Adult Drug Treatment Court is located within the Binghamton City Court. It is a court monitored treatment program for Broome County residents who have pending criminal charges and who are also addicted to drugs. It is a voluntary program. Participants have agreed to appear at regularly scheduled Drug Court sessions in front of the Drug Court Judge and they have also agreed to follow a treatment plan that is set up to meet their individual needs.


Why Choose the Binghamton Adult Treatment Drug Court?

If you complete the Drug Court Program you will be eligible to have your original legal charges either dismissed or reduced.

The Drug Court team is made up of service providers in the greater Binghamton area who will be there to offer you support and to set up services that can help you make long lasting changes in your life. The Drug Court Team is there to cheer you on when you do well and help get you back on track if you are struggling.

Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be a difficult process. Learning how to live without alcohol and drugs is challenging enough, but beyond that there are things like getting & keeping a job, getting regular medical care, eating healthy, and developing healthy relationships that you might need help with.



Basic Rules

There are rules everywhere you go in life and Drug Court, as you might expect, has rules too.

The basic rules are:

  • Keep all of your appointments to treatment, court, etc. and be on time.
  • Wear proper clothing to Drug Court sessions, treatment appointments, and all other service appointments. Clothing that has alcohol or drug related advertisements or themes are not to be worn to the court or treatment sessions. Shorts, tank tops, halter tops, and sunglasses also are not to be worn to court
  • You need to let the Drug Court Team know right away if there are changes in your life (like where you live, where you work, your phone number, your medical/health conditions, and any medications you start to take).
  • Do urine/breath tests as asked by Drug Court, treatment providers, probation, etc.
  • Do not drink alcohol in any form (beer, wine, liquor, over-the-counter medications that contain alcohol etc.) and do not use any street drugs. Also, do not use any prescription drug that is not specifically prescribed for you.
  • If you take prescription drugs or you are given a new prescription while you are a drug court participant, you must let the drug court know and show proof of the prescription.
  • Respect others in Treatment Court. Verbal and/or physical threats toward anyone in the program, in the courtroom, or on the Drug Court team is not allowed. This kind of behavior will be reported immediately to the Court and may lead to serious sanctions or your termination from the Drug Court Program.
  • Be honest. Be honest with your treatment providers, the Judge, the Drug Court team, your social supports and most importantly, yourself.




Treatment? What do you mean I have to be in treatment?

If someone has suggested The Binghamton Adult Drug Treatment Court to you as an option (your probation officer, public defender, Judge etc.) that means you are at the point where you need alcohol and drug treatment. You may have already tried alcohol and drug treatment at some other point in your life - maybe it helped for a while, but then you went back out and used and now you have more legal trouble because of your addiction. If you have had treatment before, you probably know there is no easy fix for someone's addiction.

Treatment works if you are willing to stick with it and put in the effort!



What We Do for You

  • Your treatment plan will be based on your individual needs and will include the use of several different community resources. Most importantly, every participant in Drug Court will be expected to be involved in Alcohol & Drug Treatment at a level of care that is best suited for them. You may be referred for inpatient services, intensive outpatient services (IOP), outpatient services, halfway house or residential services, or a combination of these.
  • You will attend sober/drug free self-help groups (AA, NA, Double Trouble etc.) in the community on a weekly basis.
  • Mental Health Counseling needs will be assessed for every participant and if treatment is recommended, you will be supported by the drug court team in following through with this.
  • Educational and Employment assessments will be done for participants and referrals to trainings, classes, and other services will be made as needed.
  • Both regularly scheduled and random Drug and Alcohol Testing will be done for all participants.
  • You will be expected to have Medical and Dental Exams.
  • Referrals for Public Assistance and Medicaid will also be made for you as needed.

Yes, Drug Court will last at least one year, maybe more...
Remember, it takes people a long time to get their lives messed up
and it takes them a long time to put things back together again.




A Drug Court Participant who is not doing what is on their treatment plan or what is put in their contract may result in the Judge imposing a sanction on them. Some examples of things that could lead to a sanction are, not keeping appointments (at Drug Court, treatment, or any other program appointment), testing dirty for drug or alcohol use, providing a fake or altered urine sample, disruptive or disrespectful behavior, not going to self help meetings, not doing a sanction as ordered by the Judge, or a getting a new arrest. Some examples of sanctions the Judge might give you are: Community Service Hours, Writing a paper, or Jail time.




Your progress in the program will be acknowledged in a lot of ways including positive comments from the Judge, rewards in the court room, certificates, and Phase Movement Ceremonies. In addition to these rewards, drug court team members will always be looking for ways they can recognize and support your efforts at making positive changes.



Alcohol and Drug Testing

As a Drug Court participant, you will be required to do both regular and random alcohol & drug tests. Testing will be done using both urine screens and breath screens. You can be asked to do a drug or alcohol test at any time by Drug Court Staff and/or treatment providers.

You MUST call the Court at 607-772-7006 each night after 5 pm throughout the week and listen to a pre-recorded message. The message will direct participants with a certain color code or codes to present to the Drug Court Office the next business day between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm to do an alcohol/drug screen.



Common Questions

What if I don’t do the drug screening when I am asked to?
If you do not show up for a random drug/alcohol screen or do not follow through when asked to do an alcohol/drug screen, you will be sanctioned by the court. Trying to pass a drug test by giving a fake urine sample or urine that has been altered will lead to sanctions by the Judge. If you are believed to be stalling the process of taking an alcohol/drug test, you can also be subject to sanctions.

What if I test positive for drugs and I am 100% certain I didn't use?
If you disagree with the results of a urine drug screen done on site, you can have a lab test done on your sample. However, to do this you may need to cover the cost of the laboratory test before the sample can be sent to the lab for testing.

What if I drink alcohol or use drugs while I'm in the program?
If you enter drug court, you are not to use alcohol, in any form, or other drugs. You also should not have or keep alcohol/drugs in your home, cars, or on your person at any time. If, for whatever reason, you do drink or use drugs, you have to tell the Drug Court Staff (Judge, Clerks, Coordinator etc.). If you drink or use drugs, but don’t get honest about it, you will be sanctioned by the Judge. It is also important for you to tell the court immediately once any medications are prescribed for you by a doctor, dentist, nurse practitioner, or any other medical provider.



Your Responsibilities

Attendance at appointments
As a Drug Court participant, you will need to go to a lot of different appointments for treatment, counseling, educational, and other types of services. It is your responsibility to set up your own appointments, keep track of them, and go to the appointments as scheduled. It is very important to keep all of these appointments and to be on time. Being late to appointments can result in your being considered absent and this could lead to sanctions.

Attendance at Drug Court Sessions
You will be scheduled for Drug Court Sessions based on your phase in the program. For example, if you are in stabilization Phase or in Phase I, you will report to Drug Court every week. Currently, drug court meets every Tuesday at 2:45 pm. You need to be on time for Drug Court Sessions and stay until the Judge lets everyone leave the courtroom. During Drug Court sessions the Judge will speak with each participant about their progress and/or problems they may be having.

Releases of Information
You will have to sign release of information forms that allow the Drug Court Team members and treatment providers to communicate about your progress. You will also need to sign releases throughout the program to assist in arranging other services as appropriate.



Important Phone Numbers & Addresses



Addictions Center of Broome County (ACBC)
30 West State Street
Colonial Plaza, Binghamton, NY
723-7308 New Horizons
42 Mitchell Avenue
Binghamton, NY

Addictions Crisis Center (ACC)
247 Court Street
Binghamton, NY

Broome County Mental Health
1 Hawley Street
Binghamton, NY

Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center
3-5 Griswold Street
Binghamton, NY

Dept. of Social Services(DSS)
36 Main Street
Binghamton, NY

Salvation Army Thrift Store
5-9 Griswold Street
Binghamton, NY

Fairview Recovery Systems
5 Merrick Street
Binghamton, NY