Buffalo Opioid Drug Intervention Court Helps At-Risk Offenders Get Clean

drug intervention | Just Believe Recovery PA

In This Article

Buffalo Opioid Drug Intervention Court Helps At-Risk Offenders Get Clean

A new approach to opioid addiction treatment has been implemented in Buffalo. The Opiate Crisis Intervention Court is the first of its kind and was opened in May in an effort to offer improved support for at-risk drug users after arrest.

Moreover, instead of instantaneous prosecution, the legal process is put on hold for intervention and addiction treatment. It has already shown to be very successful. The pilot program was launched by Buffalo officials to battle the opioid epidemic and save lives.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn:

“Unfortunately this came about because we have had one or two people dying in our court system every week as a result of drug use and overdoses. We were scratching our heads and saying we need to do more here.”

Like much of the U.S., Buffalo courts have experienced a marked increase recently in the number of cases related to heroin and opioid drug addiction and overdoses. Data collected by the Erie County Healthy Department reveal a substantial rise in opioid overdoses from 2014-2016, from 127 to 296, a number than more than doubled.

drug intervention | Just Believe Recovery PAThe court works like this: within one day of an arrest, every person in custody is evaluated by experts to determine if they have an opioid addiction. After the evaluation, those with addiction receive individual treatment – some are sent to inpatient care, and others participate in outpatient care with supervision.


“As long as they have not committed a violent crime, they’re immediately brought and arraigned in the opioid court. They are put in an inpatient care facility and then given the treatment they need. Their charges are adjourned, they are basically on hold until they have successfully completed the treatment or have some sort of a game plan as to how they are going to be treated.”

The court is managed by the joint effort of Buffalo City Court officials, the district attorney’s office, and the University of Buffalo School of Family Medicine. So far, the court is on track to surpass more than 200 people this year, as the first two months saw over 60 people enter treatment.

Officials state that the drug intervention court will stay open as long as necessary to save lives, and also hope it will encourage the development of similar programs in the United States.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

Just Believe Recovery is a fully licensed, Joint Commission accredited, comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment center located in Carbondale, Pennsylvania

Let's Connect

🔒 Your information is safe & secure

Sidebar Contact

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Modafinil vs Adderall | Just Believe Recovery PA
Prescription Drugs

Modafinil vs Adderall

Modafinil and Adderall are both prescription medications. Modafinil is the generic form of a name brand drug known as Provigil. It is typically used to

Read More »
Does Alcohol Make You Gain Weight? | Just Believe Recovery PA
Alcohol Addiction

Does Alcohol Make You Gain Weight?

Consuming too much alcohol can lead to a myriad of mild to severe effects on a person’s overall health and emotional stability. It can also

Read More »
What Does Acid Look Like? | Just Believe Recovery PA
Abused Substances

What Does Acid Look Like?

Acid is the popular street name for a substance known as LSD. It is one of the strongest, most popular hallucinogens of the past several

Read More »