Otsego County establishes specialized court to combat opioid addiction

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OTSEGO COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — As part of the statewide effort by the Unified Court System to address the opioid crisis and family violence, Otsego County has a specialized court designed to address the unique challenges presented by Opioid addiction.

Otsego County Hon. Brian Burns runs both the Drug Treatment Court as well as the Opioid Treatment Court.

The mission of the new Opioid Court is to save and rebuild lives by providing immediate treatment and services to reduce the number of overdose related deaths in Otsego County and the break the cycle of addiction and criminal activity while simultaneously providing safety in the community. Pending criminal cases can be suspended while a participant is stabilized in treatment.

The County-wide opioid prevention court is a part of the county’s long running Drug Treatment Court. The new court will accept both felony and misdemeanor cases from Otsego County Court, and any Town or Village Court in Otsego County; as well as referrals from local attorneys, police agencies, first responders, probation officers and any other agencies working with at-risk opioid users.

Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin believes this sepcialized court is great but he mentions there’s other drug-releated issues the county faces. “We see methamphetamine and other drugs come back because we’ve been focusing on the opioid, now we’re starting to see some other drugs come back,” says Devlin.

Otsego County has also implemented a specialized court to combat domestic violence.

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