December 1, 2023

Drug convictions can tear down the reality that a drug addiction built, leaving sufferers of SUDs with massive repercussions and often years of rehabilitation. While court-mandated drug testing is an essential tool in the recovery process, the types of testing tools make a difference in the outcomes of drug-related cases.

Using the wrong tools at the wrong point in recovery could lead to missed opportunities for support, correction, and relapse prevention. But the right tools, used in the right way, bring more accountability, assistance, and freedom to drug court participants on the path to sobriety.

How Donors View Court-Mandated Drug Testing with PharmChek®

From a drug court’s perspective, drug testing is a required step to prove compliance. But from a donor’s perspective, it’s a step that can make or break their sobriety journey.

Regular court-mandated drug testing is often considered a necessary inconvenience and a frustrating roadblock when conventional tests don't tell the whole story. A comprehensive testing tool, however, can bring court officials and program participants together to achieve a single outcome: a drug-free life. So what makes the difference?

In many drug courts, the PharmChek® Sweat Patch is a key part of better outcomes. And the donors who rely on it for recovery efforts have consistently found more than just accountability.

Clear Use Patterns versus Accountability

Where other testing methods leave gaps in detection, PharmChek® provides 24-hour sample collection for up to 10 days. This greatly minimizes the chances of false negative results with intermittent testing methods like urine and saliva. For drug courts, this continuous sampling provides a clear record of use patterns so that donors receive the help they need to reach and maintain sobriety.

From a donor’s perspective, however, continuous transdermal monitoring means consistent accountability.

In the Yuma County Drug Court, former juvenile drug court probation supervisor Henry Gonzales worked with youth who were battling addiction. For these donors, PharmChek® is a way to remain mindful of the responsibilities they are working to build.

“Our youth tell us that every day when they wake up and see the patch on their arm, that's almost like having their probation officer at the foot of their bed to remind them that they’re in the drug court program. It’s telling them to remember to stay clean and sober.”

Another donor, whose name must remain anonymous, had a similar experience.

“I was told I had to wear the Sweat Patch for three years, with biweekly reporting. This held me extremely accountable, which was a major contributing factor to my sobriety.”

With PharmChek®, the courts were able to establish use patterns while the donor had the accountability they needed to stay clean.

Admissible Results versus Proof of Progress

Court-admissible evidence is critical to providing appropriate care for drug court participants. PharmChek®’s 30-year record of court-supported results meets this need with unparalleled accuracy and dependability. But that same accuracy does even more for donors.

Most drug testing only provides evidence for further consequences, but Pharmchek® goes a step further. Its trusted confirmation results can provide proof of sobriety, allowing case managers and drug courts the opportunity to celebrate success as well.

When the PharmChek® Sweat Patch goes on your arm, it’s not a punishment. It’s actually a reward.

Tabitha Arnsdorf, case manager

Tabitha Arnsdorf, a drug court graduate who now works as a case manager in the Muskogee County Adult Drug Court, considered the PharmChek® Sweat Patch a badge of honor in her recovery journey.

“Getting the Sweat Patch means you’ve been doing good enough in the program to be trusted. For me, it made it possible to take a vacation and still prove I was staying sober. When the PharmChek® Sweat Patch goes on your arm, it’s not a punishment. It’s actually a reward.”

Less Staffing versus Less Stress

The opioid crisis, now fueled by the deadly combination of fentanyl and stimulants, has caused incredible stress for treatment courts. Staffing issues can limit the effectiveness of court-mandated drug testing and treatment, specifically when sobriety efforts depend on repeated testing, observation, and accountability measures. While other program components may require more staffing, specifically for gender-specific sample collection and frequent in-person appointments, PharmChek® requires the opposite.

For courts, this translates to fewer staff requirements for basic program needs. For donors, the Sweat Patch changes how they live their lives on a daily basis. By reducing the number of appointments for sample collection—often by as much as two or three appointments each week—participants in drug court programs don’t have to struggle to find transportation or meet scheduling demands that could interfere with work demands.

Parents of Yuma County Juvenile Drug Court participants praised this distinct advantage. In a community with a single lab, schedule conflicts have led to compliance issues in the past. But with PharmChek®, parents have fewer appointments and fewer conflicts to deal with. Henry Gonzales agrees.

“The officer can meet the young person at home, out in the field, or even in the community to apply or remove the patch so that the parents no longer have the burden of transportation. Parents have thanked us for that.”

PharmChek® makes both compliance and convenience possible without sacrificing accountability, a win for both courts and donors.

Tamper-Evident versus Worry-Free Wear

Adulteration can throw sobriety efforts into chaos quickly. When donors have opportunities to alter or dilute their specimen and avoid detection, the end goal of recovery becomes less attainable. Remove those opportunities, and courts and donors alike have a better recovery experience from end to end. The tamper-evident design of PharmChek® is a way to keep results simple, accurate, and helpful. Courts and treatment program providers benefit from this feature because they can identify a well-worn patch versus a tampered patch and trust that test results are accurate and reliable.

Better Outcomes versus Better Lives

Even more than these practical benefits for both drug courts and donors, PharmChek® provides a unique opportunity for treatment programs because it establishes and builds personal responsibility for choices and behaviors. Pattern recognition, behavior modification therapy, and self-discipline play key roles in maintaining sobriety.

Tabitha Arnsdorf’s recovery started at the age of 33, after more than 20 years of drug use. Today, she helps other recovering addicts overcome substance abuse and build meaningful lives on the other side of addiction. Tabitha attributes her success to the self-discipline the PharmChek® Sweat Patch helped her develop.

“Self-discipline is the key factor to recovery. And PharmChek® can do wonders for addicts who need that accountability every day. When the PharmChek® Sweat Patch goes on your arm, it’s like having drug court with you everywhere you go.”

When she entered drug court, Tabitha had nothing of her own. Today, she is a proud homeowner. That transformation, according to her, was because of the support of excellent sponsors and the accountability of the PharmChek® Sweat Patch.

“I have the perfect job today, and I’m going back to school to get my bachelor’s degree in psychology. A vehicle, a driver’s license, and a three-bedroom house. None of that would have been possible in my old life.”

Life-changing interventions and support systems make the difference between a life lost and a life reinvented. And PharmChek® is proud to be a part of many stories like this one.

Better for Courts, Better for Donors

The barriers that make recovery complicated for courts are often the ones that make recovery difficult for donors. The tools within a program can make all the difference, though.

Recovery tools that focus on providing support, accountability, and opportunities to celebrate success stand head and shoulders above methods that leave questions and doubts regarding sobriety. Our commitment at PharmChek® isn’t just to better drug court testing but to better lives through long-term recovery efforts. By providing a better tool for their participants, treatment courts can yield better outcomes.

On the other side of this collaboration lies true recovery. And that is, above all else, the most important goal of any treatment program.

Is PharmChek® Right for Your Program?

With a tamper-evident deisgn and a better way to provide both accountability and support, the PharmChek® Drugs of Abuse Patch changes how your drug court program helps people reach recovery. See what makes us different.