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The Downside of Treating Addiction as a Crime

The Downside of Treating Addiction as a CrimeDrug addiction and crime are closely related, because a user’s compulsions to use drugs will force her to illegal means to feel satisfied. Substance abuse can lead to poor judgment and dangerous behavior, which is why many Austin drug addicts receive criminal consequences for their behavior. People may receive great fines or years of incarceration for their drug habits, but these consequences do not break the addiction that fueled crime. Instead, drug addicts need professional help to recover and stay clean for the long haul.

Avoiding the Negative Consequences of Addiction

The best way to avoid legal consequences of drug abuse is to overcome addiction. Finding addiction help in a rehab center or through therapy can stop addiction before it’s too late. Furthermore, Austin drug addicts can also recover their health if they seek professional treatment.

The problem with treating addiction as a crime is that it does not break the addiction. When an arrest takes place, it is possible to avoid jail by obtaining alternative sentencing. Currently, jails are filled with addicts arrested for illegal possession, which is why some judges will sentence addicts to rehab rather than prison. However, these alternative sentences depend on the severity of the crime, age of the addict, criminal history and other factors. If an Austin resident does receive alternative sentencing, he may get any of the following penalties:

  • Probation – A period of time where the user must stay clean and submit to drug tests to avoid jail
  • Fines – Money paid to the government to help deter drug use
  • Community service – Working for the community in exchange for avoiding prison
  • Restitution – This means compensating everyone who might have been affected by the crime

Opinions vary regarding an addict who has committed a crime to fund her addiction. People often debate if addicts should be punished with incarceration or helped through rehab. A clear downside to incarceration is that it does not necessarily treat the addiction, so repeat offenses become likely. However, many people think that breaking the law should send an addict to jail. Either way, Austin drug addicts can avoid legal consequences if they seek recovery. Take the necessary steps to go to rehab instead of jail; recovery is possible with the right help.

Help Austin Drug Addicts Avoid Jail

You can start the recovery process by learning about addiction and treatment for it. To help you do this, our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day, and our admissions coordinators can discuss interventions, a national network of rehab facilities, medically supervised detox, family counseling and health insurance benefits. All you need to do is call to begin restoring a healthy lifestyle for you or your Austin loved one.