Massachusetts, which now has 21 drug courts, is adding five more as the state grapples with an increase in heroin overdoses and opioid addiction that prompted Gov. Deval Patrick to declare the epidemic a public health emergency.
During a recent session, Heffernan scolded one man who had left a rehabilitation center early. ‘‘I'm going to watch you closely, and I don’t want to hear any excuses. Do you understand me?’’ she said.