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Criminal Justice Social Work Services

Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTO)

Information about Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO) which are imposed by the Court.

This information is available to download and print:

What is a DTTO?

Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTO) are imposed by courts where someone's offending is clearly linked to problem drug misuse. It is different to other community-based sentences such as probation and Community Service as the focus of a DTTO is to address problem drug use to reduce the risk of further offending and harm.

DTTOs are designed for an offender to reduce or stop offending by addressing their problem drug use through rapid access to a closely monitored treatment programme.

What will I have to do during a DTTO?

If you are given a DTTO by court, you will be required to undergo treatment associated with drug use, including drug testing and attend frequent reviews of your order with the Sheriff that sentenced you.

How long can a DTTO last?

An order may vary in length from 6 months to 3 years and requires the consent of the offender.

Who can get a DTTO?

Offenders aged 16 or over who have a serious drug problem may be considered for a DTTO.

If the court or a criminal justice social worker thinks you may be suitable for a DTTO, you will be referred for assessment. To be considered for a DTTO:

  • there should be an established link between your drug use and your offending
  • your drug use must be able to respond to an available treatment option
  • you must show clear motivation to take part in a programme of treatment and change

What treatment is provided?

If you are sentenced to a DTTO, your supervising officer, nurse and other support staff will develop an individual action plan to offer you the opportunity to address your drug problem and offending.

DTTOs aim to support offenders to reduce and/or stop illicit drug use and treatment may include:

  • individual support/information/advice
  • detox/substitute prescribing
  • group work to support behaviour change
  • residential programmes

What about testing?

During the assessment stage, you will be expected to take part in a number of oral fluid drug tests (mouth swabs).

Offenders on DTTO will have frequent and random oral fluid testing carried out by DTTO staff and minimum testing plans will be outlined in the assessment and monthly reviews at court.

What does an assessment for DTTO involve?

You will receive a number of assessment appointments and you will be expected to attend all of them. You will be oral fluid tested and the Order will be explained fully to you.

Your appointments will include contact with a social worker, nurse and the DTTO Doctor and treatment options discussed. The frequency of contact during assessment will normally be 2 - 3 times a week until your court date.

During your assessment period we will establish your suitability for DTTO or if another option is better suited to your needs.

What will I have to do during a DTTO?

If you are made subject to a DTTO, you will usually be required to attend your DTTO team office two or three times per week for testing, supervision and monitoring of medication.

You will be seen by your social worker who will monitor your compliance and report back to the court on a monthly basis. Appointments will also include time with a nurse and a support worker may also assist you with your order, including offering practical support. The Doctor will see you as required.

Reviews will usually be held at court each month where you will be required to attend so the Sheriff who sentenced you to DTTO can monitor your progress. Contact with the DTTO team throughout the order will be adjusted as required.


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