Discharge, Suspend, or Sanction

Discharge, Suspend or Sanction? Improving Skills and Systems to Deal with Relapse, Continued Use and Continued Problems

Keynote or Breakout


Relapse, continued use and continued problems is not only common, but can be expected in addiction and mental health treatment. Assessment of relapse potential for preventive actions and assessment of substance use in treatment and other addiction and mental health flare-ups is critical.  This session will discuss what to do that continues treatment and recovery, not just discharge or sanction the participant. It will highlight how to work together – judges, court teams, treatment providers and all stakeholders - to deal with positive drug screens and other poor outcomes. We will discuss what to do in early phases of problem-solving courts versus in later phases and other proximal and distal approaches.


Participants will

  • Identify key concepts about relapse, continued use and problems.
  • Apply principles of individualized treatment planning to deal with substance use and other poor outcomes in treatment.
  • Discuss how to improve policies and procedures, sanctions and incentives, phases and programs to promote recovery in court participants.