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Arizona ruling says treatment relapse no reason to revoke probation

PHOENIX -- An Arizona court ruling says a person who relapses in drug treatment can't have his probation revoked on the basis that he refused to try to go clean.

The state Court of Appeals decision overturns a trial judge's ruling that a man violated his probation by having heroin while in a treatment program.

The judge had ruled that constituted refusing to participate in treatment.

However, the appeals court said considering a relapse in drug treatment by itself to be a refusal to participate denies what "the realities of addiction recovery."

The court said circumstances of the man's case indicate he fell short of completing treatment but didn't reject it.

The trial judge had reinstated the man's probation, and the Court of Appeals ruling upholds that part of the judge's order.

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