Drug Treatment Court (DTC) combines addiction treatment services and justice system case processing. Participants in Calgary Drug Treatment Court are provided with treatment for drug addiction, are closely monitored by the court, and are provided with a wide range of services based on an assessment of their specific needs, such as health, mental health, access to substance use disorder consultation and medications, reconnection with positive social supports, cultural connection, parenting support, life skills, and help to change patterns of thinking and behaviour

Due to the length and extent of services provided in Drug Treatment Courts, participants often find hope for a better life, and along with that, the motivation to make the changes and develop the skills needed to achieve it.

Eligible participants are entered into a 5-stage program that includes intensive treatment, developing and practicing recovery skills, support for transition into the community and graduation. Participants are also required to attend and participate in drug treatment court every week.

This program is not simply a way to avoid a period of time in custody. It is an intensive program that requires dedication and commitment. It is a program designed to help participants end active addiction, develop or re-establish ties to family and community, work on employment and vocational skills, and address the range of needs required to end the cycle of active addiction, crime and incarceration in their lives.

The CDTC works closely with many community agencies to provide participants with the services and resources needed to support their progress through the program.

If you are addicted to cocaine, heroin, other opiate(s), or methamphetamine and have been charged with a crime you committed in order to support your drug addiction, this program may be right for you.

You must be 18 years of age or older.

This program is set up to help you achieve goals of recovery by treating the underlying problems that lead to addiction and the loss of control that can ultimately lead to crime. We help you stop the cycle and help you to lead a healthy, productive life in your community, free from drug active addiction and crime.

The Court will consider charges associated with a drug addiction where the likely jail or prison sentence is between one and five years. Charges may include possession with the intent to traffic, theft, break and enter, or other drug-driven crime.

Individual facing charges involving serious violence, or a recent and/or significant history of violence may not be eligible for the program. The Court will also assess and confirm  the presence of an addiction to a CDSA Schedule I substance, such as cocaine, heroin, other opiate(s), or methamphetamine.

You are required to enter a guilty plea as part of admission into the program. You also agree to delay sentencing on these charges until after graduation (program completion). This will be done by your lawyer or by CDTC Duty Counsel. If you successfully graduate from the program, the Prosecutor will not seek a jail sentence for you, and you can expect to receive a sentence that does not include going to jail.

You will enter a treatment program recommended for you by the CDTC Treatment Team based on an assessment of your needs. This will likely include residential addiction treatment at one of our partnering Residential Recovery Programs or an intensive Day Treatment Program. Following the intensive treatment phase of the program, the Treatment Team will work closely with you to support you in sustaining your recovery and achieving your other treatment goals. You will also receive support through participation in community support meetings such as Smart Recovery, Refuge Recovery, and/or 12-step meetings.

As a condition of your release you will be required to live in housing approved by the CDTC Probation Officer. In most cases participants are required to reside at either a residential recovery house, or supportive community housing facility for the majority of their time in the program. Participants are often supported to transition to living in a private residence later in the program, following a significant period of stability in key areas of health and wellbeing.

You will need to have legal counsel to complete and submit the necessary application. If you already have a lawyer, he or she can do this with you. If you do not have a lawyer and cannot afford one, please contact our CDTC Legal Aid Duty Counsel – Ed Washington or Stephen Jenuth.

See How To Apply for application process and forms.

At any time during the first 30 days following your acceptance into the program and court entry of your guilty plea(s), you can voluntarily withdraw from the program. At that time, your case will be immediately re-directed to the regular court system. Everything you have said or done during your participation in the program before the 30-day opting out period has passed, will be kept confidential and can not be used in court, unless you agree otherwise.

Once the 30 day opting out period has passed, if you voluntarily withdraw or are expelled from the Program, your guilty plea(s) stand and you will be sentenced by the Drug Court Justice. In this case, what you have said and done during your participation in the program can be shared at your sentencing hearing.

You must have a lawyer help you complete the forms. You can use your own lawyer but if you do not have one and cannot afford one, you can go to Legal Aid and request to have a lawyer assigned to you. CDTC Duty Counsel at Legal Aid can help you fill out your forms and answer questions.

To find a CDTC Duty Counsel or contact Legal Aid, please visit Contact Us for details.

Participants can graduate from Drug Treatment Court when they’ve met the requirements for graduation which are spelled out in our Participant Manual.

These requirements include but are not limited to the following:

  • Plead guilty to and eligible offence or offences;
  • A minimum of 6 months drug free during your time in the Program including a minimum period of 3 months drug-free immediately preceeding graduation;
  • Complete all treatment requirements, including treatment for drug addiction;
  • Demonstrate an acceptable level of compliance with the conditions of your judicial interim release (bail) and the other expectations of the program;
  • Have employment, or be involved in educational or vocational training, volunteer work, or other approved activity in the community;
  • Have an approved residence in the community;
  • • Each step along the way, the drug court team will help you develop or access the necessary supports you need to achieve these milestones.

If you are not accepted into the program, your case will be returned to the regular court system. Any information you provided to the program team as a part of your application will be kept confidential and will not be used against you in court.

Thank you for your interest in growing and assisting the Calgary Drug Treatment Court program. Opportunities to volunteer or to provide in-kind support are valued. These opportunities are based on your unique skills, experience and expertise. They could include, for example, joining our volunteer Board of Directors, donating your expertise in the form of in-kind services such as professional counselling, running a 12-step group, conducting a fitness class or teaching yoga or meditation, offering your marketing and/or media skills, providing human services expertise, etc.

Please Contact Us for further details.

Donations are gratefully accepted and are needed to support a wide range of services, resources and participants.

Please see the donations page for details: https://calgarydrugtreatmentcourt.org/donate/

CRA Charity Registration Number 803850916RR0001

For general inquiries contact CDTC Main Office.

For legal questions contact your lawyer or if you do not have a lawyer and cannot afford one please contact our CDTC Duty Counsel Representative for further assistance.