We have included basic Sarasota County Drug Court Opioid Track Information that you will need to know to be successful while in Drug Court Opioid Track. If you have any questions, please ask your primary counselor. It is also good to know that some rules and practices change from time to time.
Welcome to the Sarasota County Drug Court Opioid Track. This handbook is designed to answer any questions you may have and to help guide you through the Treatment Court process. Staff understand that you may be somewhat unsure about your decision, but we are here to help you successfully reach your goal.
The Sarasota County Opioid Court has been enhanced to help people with substance abuse issues address co-occurring disorders and/or health issues when they are released from jail.
You have been offered treatment because you have been arrested and your criminal behavior has been determined to be drug related; in other words, you have a substance abuse problem, and it is contributing to your criminal behavior.
Opioid Court provides judicial supervision while giving you an opportunity to receive treatment for your substance abuse behavior. In essence, this treatment program has been designed to help you obtain a crime-free and drug-free lifestyle.
This handbook will provide you with an overview of the program, rules, goals, and expectations. If there is anything you do not understand or have questions about, do not be afraid to ask for clarification.
As a Drug Court participant, you will be expected to follow the instructions given by the Judge and Treatment team.
Welcome to the Sarasota County Drug Court Opioid Track. We wish you all the best!
Your participation in the Drug Court Opioid Track Program is completely voluntary. You will determine whether you are successful.
Opioid Court is designed to help you confront and overcome various obstacles in your treatment. Your program requirements will decrease as you advance in the program. Two requirements will remain consistent: to be crime free and drug free; these are two non-negotiables in this program.
The Sarasota County Drug Court Opioid Track is designed to be completed in one year, but this time may be prolonged due to lack of progress in the program. Participants will be required to reach certain milestones to advance phases, these requirements will be reviewed by you and your assigned primary counselor. Once you have reached certain milestones, it is important you maintain these milestones, so you do not add time to your stay in Opioid Court.
Opioid Court is a combination of judicial supervision and treatment. As a result, you will be required to report before the court on a regularly scheduled basis while also participating in treatment. It is important that you talk with your primary counselor to schedule all your appointments to include group treatment, AA/NA meetings, one-to-one (1:1) treatment, urine testing, as well as court sessions. Completion of these responsibilities will result in you maintaining your freedom as well as your progression through the program.
When you enter into Opioid Court, you will be assigned a primary counselor. Your counselor is your “go to” person. This is the person who will make recommendations to the Team regarding your progress in the program. Your primary counselor will schedule individual, one-on-one treatment sessions where you will discuss issues related to your substance abuse behavior. You will also be provided with a schedule of activities and requirements; it is your responsibility to plan and complete all required program activities. It is very important for you to call our office if you are having problems completing your requirements. This may not keep you from receiving a sanction, but your cooperation will be taken into consideration.
Drug testing is a key component, and you will be required to provide urine samples on a regular basis. Failure to report will be viewed as an unexcused drop and will be treated as a positive urine sample. Once again, if you have unforeseen problems, do not hesitate to call us to let us know. As previously stated, calling in does not relieve one of his or her duties, but it will be taken into consideration if any sanctions are given.
Welcome to the Sarasota County Drug Court Opioid Track Program. This program is designed to assist non-violent substance abusers that are charged with one or more specific felonies. Court is held on the following days and times at the locations listed below.
Drug Court hearings are every Tuesday at 10AM in Courtroom 3A (on the 3rd floor) of the Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center, 2002 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34237. Free parking is available in the parking garage, two blocks east of the judicial center.
By the time you are given this instruction sheet you should have already been told when and where to report to start in the Drug Court Program. Call one of the following Drug Court Administration or Supervision Staff to confirm the details of your appointment as soon as you arrive home and continue making the effort to contact them until you have actually spoken to one of them. On some occasions, there may be a need to reschedule your orientation appointment.
You should become well acquainted with your treatment counselor. It is very important for participants to show up drug and alcohol free. You will be tested frequently.
1751 Mound St., Suite 101B, Sarasota, FL 34236
941‑861‑8107; Fax 941-316-1637
Main Line: 941‑861‑8120
UA Drop Line: 941‑861‑8189
Drug Court, Opioid Court, Veteran’s Court Probation Officers
941‑361‑6322; FAX: 941‑918‑2780
941‑861‑8112; FAX: 941-316-1637
The following are terms commonly used by people in the Drug Court Opioid Track Program. Some of you have never heard many of the terms or may recognize them in a different setting. The purpose of this section is to help you understand some of the words used and understand many of the required activities of the program. If you have any questions, please contact a staff member for clarification.
Case Management: Case Management is when staff works to make sure you get services you need besides group and individual sessions. Case management includes housing, employment, education, anger management, and other services. While Drug Court does not provide these services directly, they will help you succeed not only in Drug Court, but in life. Our Case manager will work with your primary counselor or other Drug Court staff in obtaining these services if available.
Confidentiality: Confidentiality means privacy and refers to not talking about program issues outside of the Drug Court setting. This means if you hear someone say something in a group setting about an issue they have, you cannot discuss this outside of the Drug Court. It simply means what happens in Drug Court, stays in Drug Court.
Counseling: Counseling occurs when you talk about your problems or issues related to your substance abusing behavior. Counseling may happen in group or alone with your primary counselor. In each phase, you will be required to attend a certain number of counseling groups and one-on-ones. Your primary Counselor is the person to whom you are assigned to discuss issues during participation in the program.
Fees: Fees are the costs you pay to participate in the Drug Court. As a condition of this diversion program, each participant in Drug Court pays $15 per week to the Clerk of the Court to participate in the Sarasota County Drug Court. Payments are payable to the Clerk of the Court, at 2000 Main St. (Old Historical Court House). You may need a photo ID and may pay in the form of check, cash, money order, or credit card. You are to turn in your receipt to the Treatment Court Office by 12pm Friday of each week. Participants may perform public service hours in lieu of payment at a rate of $15 an hour.
Groups: Groups are when two or more people meet with a counselor or therapist to discuss issues related to their substance abusing behavior. Issues may include family, career, education, free time, etc. In each phase, participants are required to perform a certain number of groups each week. Participants are required to attend three groups weekly.
Nurse Practitioner: A Nurse Practitioner is a medical professional with an advanced nursing degree. The Nurse Practitioner can diagnose certain psychological disorders as well as provide medication to treat these disorders. The Nurse Practitioner may also refer the participant to a specialist to receive more specific treatment. All participants will be required to see the Nurse Practitioner.
Probation: Probation is a form of legal supervision where a person who has committed a crime is allowed to continue to live in the community while being supervised by an Officer of the FL Department of Corrections. While on probation there are certain restrictions placed upon the person which the officer will go over with you. If you break or violate any of these restrictions, you may be violated and placed in jail. Your Probation Officer (PO) will go over all requirements with you during your first visit with her or him.
Public Defender’s Office: The Public Defender’s Office (PD) provides legal representation to people who are unable to pay for a private lawyer. Many Drug Court participants are represented by the PD’s Office. If you are unsure if you are represented by the PD’s Office, please discuss this issue with the Drug Court Judge to ensure you are represented legally.
Public Service: Public service is when you work at a local, non-profit organization to complete certain program requirements. Public service may be used as a sanction and an incentive. As a sanction, it may be assigned due to not completing certain phase requirements or the failure to complete other phase requirements. As an incentive, it may be assigned to help a person pay their fees in the event of the loss of a job or inability to pay.
Recovery Meetings: Recovery meetings, also known as self-help or AA/NA meetings, are held at various locations in the community. All participants are required to attend a minimum of ONE RECOVERY MEETING daily for the first 90 days. You may choose the meeting which works best for you. This is also where you will find your sponsor for the program.
Relapse Group: Relapse group is a specialized group for Drug Court Participants who have a positive urine test. Participants are required to attend relapse group(s) for positive urine tests whether or not a jail sanction is received.
Sanction: A sanction is an action the Judge takes in relation to your progress or lack of progress in the program. If a person tests positive on a urine test, the sanction may include public service, jail, or some other action the Judge orders. The idea is that a sanction is in response to your progress in the program.
Sponsor/Recovert Coach: A sponsor or a recovery coach is someone in recovery from drugs and or alcohol abuse or addiction and has at least two-years “clean” time. The sponsor is someone you meet at a recovery group who agrees to help you when you are having problems keeping away from drugs or alcohol. Your sponsor must call the Drug Court program to let us know he or she has agreed to work with you. Your sponsor must be the same gender (sex) as you are.
Some of the information in this section is found in other parts of this handbook, but this information is so important, we want you to be able to quickly access it so that you will know what to do in the event you are prescribed or use certain valid medications.
It is important that you tell us when you are prescribed any medications by your doctor or when you are taking any over-the-counter medication. Following this rule helps us gauge your willingness to receive treatment and will also help us not assign a positive to a urine sample that you submit.
Illegal drugs are not permitted and are not to be taken by any Drug Court participant. This includes drugs such as cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs that are not yours, marijuana, kratom and other manufactured substances, etc.
Alcohol, while legal, is not allowed to be consumed by Drug Court participants. Use of alcohol violates Drug Court program rules, and you will be sanctioned for its use.
Psychiatric medications are allowed, but you must see our contracted Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) to ensure you are taking your medication properly. The ARNP will be able to answer any questions you have about your medications and possible side effects and may also be able to offer a more affordable alternative.
Other prescribed medications such blood pressure medication, antibiotics and such are allowed, but once again, it is important that you provide us with a copy of your most recent prescription, so we are aware that you are taking these medications.
You may take over-the-counter medications, but you must communicate with staff as some over-the-counter products are banned from the program, i.e., Nyquil, Sudafed, mouthwash. You must call staff and bring in the bottles or boxes ASAP for all such products. Many over-the-counter medications are abused for their effects.
It should also be noted, the use of over-the-counter medications are for short-term use. If you have persistent symptoms, we recommend you see a doctor or the ARNP for a more complete diagnosis.
Graduation & Prescribed Narcotics: Drug Court participants shall not be allowed to graduate while on narcotics. While the Drug Court recognizes there are times when a physician may prescribe narcotics to their patients, the goal of Drug Court is to help you learn how to function without dependence upon drugs and alcohol. In light of this philosophy, if you receive a prescription for narcotic medication within 90 days of your graduation, you must have at least 30 days of clean time prior to graduating from the Drug Court. The risk for abuse of narcotics is too great for the program to allow you to leave while utilizing these medications. It is imperative that you request a non-narcotic alternative when you visit your doctor.
The following rules and regulations will apply to all persons involved in the Sarasota County Drug Court Opioid Track Program:
Clients are responsible for:
Please review this packet from time to time, it can help you progress through the program and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a staff member to answer any of your questions. You must also remember, the program changes from time to time, so this is a guide to help you understand the basics of the program. Some things never change such as making sure you complete all program requirements and testing negative on your urine samples.
The staff of the Sarasota County Opioid Track wishes you much success during your time in the program and in your life. It is our hope that you will use this as an opportunity to truly turn your life around.
Unexpected closures of the Treatment Court Office and special announcements will be on the recorded drop line message and updated daily. The drop line number is 941‑861‑8189. You must call every day by 12PM.
Courtroom 3A, 3rd Floor, Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center, 2002 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34237
Monday-Friday: 7am – 5pm
Main Line: 941-861-8120
Drop Line: 941‑861‑8189
Monday-Friday (Sarasota): 7am – 5pm
Must arrive at office by 4:30pm
Monday-Friday (Venice): 8:30am – Noon
Judge: Hon. Lon Arend
Drug Court Program Director: Rachel Lane
Opioid Court Case Manager: Dori Donovan
State Attorney's Office: Craig Schaeffer
Public Defender's Office: Terry Drake
Probation and Parole: Ian Lear, Amanda Hernandez
Lab Techs: Carlos Tavera (Lead), Rona Grant, Kevin Lee
Clinical Supervisor: Brittany Henson