Addiction, Recovery and the Justice System

Addiction, Recovery, and the Justice System Banner

Building a recovery-oriented system of care for justice-involved individuals in Washington County

Join us this May for a learning series to bring hope and healing to individuals impacted by addiction and involvement with the justice system in Washington County, starting with a four-part series of lunch-and-learn events, hosted by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and Washington County. These educational events are specifically aimed at helping professionals across Washington County better understand the disease of addiction and the multiple, evidence-based pathways to treatment and long-term recovery. 

Through education, awareness, and connection, we can shift the trajectory of people’s lives and help them in engage in treatment earlier, come to hope and healing sooner, and reduce their involvement in the justice system.

Equity will be a recurring theme throughout the series. Marginalized groups in our community are impacted by addiction differently, and are disproportionately met with shame and punishment through our criminal justice system. Participants will learn about the historical context and current trends that illustrate these disparities, and the importance of supporting people in recovery with resources tailored to their individual needs.

Intended audience includes but is not limited to: judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, first responders, counselors, case works, mental health professionals and county officials or representatives who encounter individuals in the justice system who are experiencing legal issues related to addiction.

View the flyer here.

Quick links for registration (Please register for each session)

  • Thursday, May 13: Understanding Addiction and Trauma | view on-demand
  • Thursday, May 20: Understanding Racial Equity and Substance Use Criminalization | view on-demand
  • Thursday, May 27: Understanding MORE Support in Washington County | view on-demand
  • Thursday, June 3: Understanding Hope and Recovery | view on-demand

This learning series is pursuing accreditation for continuing legal education hours. Please check back for updates. 

Session Descriptions

  1. Session 1
  2. Session 2
  3. Session 3
  4. Session 4

SESSION 1: Understanding Addiction and Trauma

Thursday, May 13th from noon-1:30 p.m. | VIEW ON-DEMAND

The first session will examine the neurobiology and neuroscience of addiction and trauma and explain why people who struggle with addiction continue to make the “choices” they make. Participants will learn that what is commonly called relapse is really a recurrence of symptoms of a chronic disease, and not necessarily a moral failing. This understanding offers individuals who work in the justice system a new and more accurate perspective in situations that can be challenging.

Session 1 learning objectives:

  • Describe the underlying neurobiology for substance use disorders and the disease model of addiction
  • Reduce stigma and misunderstandings about substance use disorders
  • Define adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
  • Explore emerging evidence for shared physiology between ACEs/trauma, substance use disorders, and co-occurring disorders
  • Brief review of how attachment and trauma-informed approaches can enhance engagement with individuals with substance use disorder and trauma
  • Case vignette and discussion to better understand how to deal with our own reaction to interacting with individuals with these substance use disorders and/or trauma