Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment

If you or your loved one is convicted of a drug crime, you could face serious penalties such as jail or prison time, a fine, or probation. However, there is also a chance that the judge in your case will allow you to go to rehab in lieu of those penalties. In fact, if you successfully complete a court-ordered rehab program, you may have the charge dropped. Let’s take a closer look at why the law may allow alternative sentences, the types of programs such as treatment programs available, and your odds of success before, during, and after forced rehab.

Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment
Court-ordered drug rehab

The Link Between Addiction and Crime

Addiction may cause you to engage in many criminal behaviors, such as prostitution or larceny. You may also engage in illegal gambling or other activities in an effort to make money quickly so that you can buy more drugs. In some cases, you may choose to traffic or otherwise carry large quantities of drugs on you in exchange for easy or cheap access to your substance of choice.

While under the influence of drugs, you may take illegal actions, or that could lead to additional consequences. For example, driving while under the influence is a dangerous activity that could result in bodily injury or death. If your kids see you while you’re impaired, that might be grounds to lose parental rights. You may also be charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Why the Law Allows for Alternative Sentences

The law recognizes that its goal after a conviction is to rehabilitate an offender so that she can become a productive member of society. The law also recognizes that not all offenses are the same, which means that punishments must be tailored based on the threat a person poses to society.

Typically, drug court is available to those who don’t have a prior criminal record and who have committed nonviolent offenses. For instance, if you were caught with a small amount of marijuana, a judge may decide that rehab is a better use of resources than jail or prison.

Drug court is also used to prevent overcrowding in prisons as well as the backlog in cases that judges and prosecutors must deal with. Allowing a defendant to seek treatment means that this person is sleeping in a rehab facility or at home instead of in a jail that is above capacity. It also means that the state won’t have to spend money on food, clothing, and shelter for an inmate who could potentially be in custody for months if that inmate’s case went to trial.

The Types of Programs That Might Be Available

There are a number of rehab programs that a judge might make available to you. If you committed a nonviolent drug-related offense, such as possession of a drug for personal use, it may be possible to meet your obligation by taking part in an outpatient program. Outpatient programs typically involve group counseling or individual therapy sessions in a relaxed setting such as at a church, local community service center, or treatment center. The court might order you to attend one or two meetings a week, but you can attend as many as you think you need to facilitate your recovery.

Inpatient programs may be more appropriate if you have been using for a long time and need a safe place for detoxification or detox. They may also be an ideal option if you need time away from people or places that might trigger your desire to use drugs or alcohol abuse. Finally, such a program may be ideal because you’ll be surrounded by people who can relate to your situation and want to see you get better.

A medical assistance program may be appropriate if you need medications to help calm cravings or to deal with physical or mental health care issues caused by drug use or drug abuse. These programs may have components of both inpatient and outpatient programs. For instance, you may stay at a treatment facility for a few days to detox or so that you can be evaluated in a controlled environment. However, from there, you will typically only come in to receive medication that you aren’t allowed to take on your own.

drug rehab success

What Are Your Odds of Success?

The odds that you will be successful in a court-ordered rehab program depend largely on how seriously you take it. For many people, the possibility of having a drug charge dropped isn’t necessarily enough to get them to commit to rehab. This is because an addict typically needs to be ready to change and push sober living before any sort of drug treatment plan becomes a viable one.

Of course, it’s possible that the chance to avoid jail time may be enough to get you to stay clean for however long it takes for the court to drop your case. However, it doesn’t mean that you will have truly changed or that you have set yourself up for a successful recovery.

Instead, there is a good chance that you will either re-offend or simply be more careful as to when or how you use it. Although this may help you avoid the legal consequences of your actions, an addiction may still result in difficulty holding a job or maintaining relationships with family members.

In some cases, the court may actually help you pay for rehab treatment services, which means that not taking it seriously could be a missed opportunity to get help without going into financial ruin. Unless you have insurance, you must typically pay ahead of time, which can be difficult if you don’t have friends or family who can pay your way.

Many People Need Multiple Stints in Rehab

It is important to point out that even if you’re ready to seek help, you may need multiple trips to the rehab center before you manage to stay on the road to sobriety. Therefore, you shouldn’t consider going back to rehab a failure on your part, whether you are ordered to go back or do so of your volition.

This is especially true if your substance abuse disorder was caused by past trauma or was caused by some other undiagnosed condition. For instance, if you started using drugs to numb the negative feelings associated with a toxic relationship, you generally won’t succeed in recovery until you deal with those feelings.

If you started using because you have ADHD or some other mental health issue, you likely won’t succeed in your recovery until you get help for it. Treatment options may include medication, regular therapy sessions, or other methods of recognizing and dealing with triggers.

Communication Is Critical

While you’re in rehab, it’s important to keep in communication with your attorney and with the court. If you are struggling to comply with the terms of a court order, your attorney may work with the judge to find something that is better suited to your needs. For example, you may be allowed to leave an inpatient program early in favor of an outpatient treatment or program offering.

However, if you decide to leave rehab on your own, as the court-mandated, you could be found in contempt of court or otherwise have your original sentence reinstated. It’s important to note that you do have the right to leave a rehab program at any time, even if ordered to be there by the court. While staff may make an effort to keep you there, they are not obligated to ensure that you comply with your obligations.

The court may also impose other limitations during your rehab period, such as not having contact with certain friends or colleagues. You may also be prohibited from staying out after a certain hour or from partaking in other actions that may cause you to offend or harm others. Any violation of those terms may result in an extension of your rehab program or the possibility of being sent to jail or prison.

For many, entering the criminal justice system is the wake-up call needed to reexamine their relationship with drug use. Although, as a disclaimer, you may not get sober right away, court-ordered treatment may present you with an opportunity to start on the road to a clean lifestyle and out from drug-related crime, DUI, and dependency on drug use. The folks at Long Island Interventions, a substance abuse treatment provider that offers aftercare for substance use disorder, are willing to meet you where you happen to be on your journey and will provide the tools and resources needed to make your stay as productive as possible.

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