If you count yourself among the many people across Missouri currently struggling with an addiction to methamphetamine or another substance, you are not alone. In fact, many of the state’s prisons are now home to state residents who, if not for their drug addictions, would likely not be there, but spending time behind bars does not help you treat your addiction itself.

Depending on where you live and the circumstances surrounding your criminal charge and past, you may be able to gain entry into a Missouri drug court as opposed to having to spend time in jail. Drug courts, per the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, closely supervise addicts for a given period while typically offering them treatment and counseling to help them beat their habits and keep them from reoffending. Though they are not currently available everywhere, drug courts have numerous proven, positive effects on addicts and their communities:

Help combat meth addiction

A meth addiction is notoriously difficult to beat, but participating in drug court may be able to help you do so. When compared with eight alternative treatment methods, drug courts reigned supreme when it came to helping addicts abstain from meth use.

Reduce crime in communities

Drug courts also benefit communities because they have proven positive effects on crime. More specifically, research suggests that crime reductions relating to drug court can last anywhere from three to 14 years.

Save communities considerable money

Drug courts also help communities save money after considering expenditures including prison housing costs, prisoner medical expenses, and future arrests and trials. In fact, states save about $4.30 for every dollar they invest into their drug court programs.

Your drug addiction does not automatically make you a bad person, but it may make you act in ways you otherwise never would. If you want a real chance at kicking your addiction and regaining control over your life, find out if drug court might be an option for you.