Age as a Predictor of Success in the Kalamazoo Sobriety Court
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Drug courts were developed as an alternative to incarceration for individuals facing criminal charges of driving under the influence of alcohol. In the 30 years that drug courts have existed, research has determined that they are a successful way of reducing substance abuse along with drug-related crimes. However, the majority of research concerning drug courts has focused on their overall success rather than attempting to understand factors that would enhance their success. Drinking at a young age influences one’s chance of becoming addicted, along with the severity of their addiction later in life. Treatment, whether it be in a facility or in a program like drug court, is also influenced by an individual’s age. Using a sample of participants from the Kalamazoo sobriety court, the intent of this study was to determine if age was a predictor of completion of the program. Two different aspects of age were analyzed: age of onset and the age at admission. Consistent with the hypotheses, individuals with an early age of onset along with individuals admitted during their early adulthood had the lowest rate of success within the program. The results were significant suggesting that age of onset and age of admission predict success among the participants of sobriety court. Further research is needed to determine additional predictors of success and whether different treatments could increase the success rate of younger participants.