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Services for offenders and their families

Drug Testing and Treatment Order Service

A partnership between justice services and addiction recovery teams

Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTOs) are one of a number of options available to the court when sentencing an individual for offending. 

DTTOs are aimed at people who have a significant drug misuse issue, and whose offending is linked to their drug misuse. Individuals placed on a DTTO are expected to have a high level of contact with their social worker and addictions worker and regular contact with the sheriff who placed them on the Order. 

A DTTO is a direct alternative to custody,  and is usually reserved for people who have already tried working with the addiction recovery teams on a voluntary basis, or who have already had supervision through a community payback order. 

DTTOs can be imposed for a period of six months, up to three years. 

In North Lanarkshire, the DTTO service is a partnership between justice services and the addiction recovery teams (ART).  Service users are seen in their own locality, by both ART staff, and by social work staff. 


When an individual is being considered for a criminal justice social work report, either the court, or the social worker involved in the assessment can refer to the DTTO service. 

At this stage, the DTTO service would consider an individual's suitability for further assessment and could recommend to court that sentence is deferred for a DTTO assessment.  


Should the court wish for an individual to be assessed, sentencing would be deferred for a period of four weeks and the individual would have a number of appointments with a social worker and an addictions worker from the addiction recovery team.  These workers will conduct drug screens to gather evidence about drug use. 

It may also be necessary for the individual to be assessed by a specialist health professional. The outcome of this assessment would be fed back to the court with a recommendation as to whether that individual is suitable for a DTTO. 


An individual placed on a DTTO will immediately start on treatment, through twice-weekly contact with their addictions worker.

In addition, they will also have contact with their social worker, and if they are on a substitute prescription, they will also have appointments with a nurse. They will be regularly drug screened. 

Every four to six weeks, the individual will appear at court in front of their sentencing sheriff to have their progress reviewed. 

Contact us through the DTTO mailbox  

Page last updated:
14 Feb 2024

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