In 2015, Harford County Juvenile Drug Court in Maryland transferred its year-long substance abuse treatment program for adolescents to Emmorton Treatment Services. ETS now runs the program, which provides outpatient treatment to minors who have legal issues as a result of substance abuse. Harford County’s Department of Juvenile Services refers clients to the program and their successful participation can lead to the expungement of their criminal record. The goals of the program are to reduce substance abuse, reduce recidivism, to increase each client’s sense of self-worth and to facilitate positive family functioning.
Treatment and Staff
ETS accepts all clients via referrals from the Harford County Department of Juvenile Services. Currently, the program treats up to 20 clients at a time. The program includes group and individual therapy and emphasizes consistency and accountability. Clients have both random and scheduled drug tests every two weeks. Clean tests and attendance of group and individual therapy are documented to meet court requirements and expectations. 12-step meetings are not a requirement of the program, but they are recommended. Attendance of AA/NA meetings are documented in treatment records, which also contributes to favorable case reviews.
Therapy is conducted by ETS’s primary counselor, a CASAC. Modalities used include CBT and DBT. Clients with co-occurring disorders work with their case manager at The Department of Juvenile Services to access mental health care. The duration of the program is progress-based and clients who remain clean and attend therapy for three consecutive months are fast-tracked, having their cases presented to the magistrate for review.
Clients often age-out of the program before treatment is complete. At that point, they are transferred to adult treatment programs by the county. The counselor and program director at ETS, however, continue to check in on their progress after they’ve switched programs.
ETS is currently developing a parental component to treatment so clients can receive better support in their recovery at home.
Since Emmorton Treatment Services began running the Harford County Juvenile Drug Court treatment program, it has provided local clients with consistent evidence-based treatment for substance abuse. The small program size allows clients to receive the individual attention needed to create an effective treatment plan to help support positive behavior changes—and possibly expunge criminal records.
Harford Country Juvenile Drug Court Program
Department of Juvenile Services
2 S. Bond St. #2
Bel Air, MD 21014
Harford County Juvenile Drug Court Outpatient Treatment Cost: County provides funding. Reach The Department of Juvenile Services at (410) 836-4680.
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