Massachusetts adds 5 new drug courts as state grapples with heroin overdoses, opioid addiction

August 3, 2014 1:03 PM

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QUINCY, Massachusetts — In a small courtroom in Quincy District Court, Judge Mary Beth Heffernan doles out instructions and advice the way a parent would: sometimes gently, sometimes firmly, but always with an encouraging tone.

Heffernan presides over a specialty court where defendants with substance abuse problems are closely supervised, subjected to random drug testing and required to participate in support groups and treatment programs as an alternative to jail.

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