Should Someone Convicted of Drug Possession Go to Rehab Instead of Prison?

Going to prison is just one of the many consequences that you could face from an addiction, but it is among the most feared. No one likes the idea of being locked up and unable to see their friends and family when they want. Drug possession carries some of the most serious penalties for crime in many states. Depending upon where the crime occurred and factors such as how much of the drug you were caught with, you could face years in prison. Even after you get out of jail, most sentences include a period of probation or parole when you could easily be sent back to prison if you don’t comply with every stipulation. People often ask should someone convicted of drug possession go to rehab instead of prison when the issue of how crime is best handled comes up. In most cases, treating the addiction is the best way to stop people from becoming repeat offenders who drain the justice system of funding.

Before diving into that debate, it should first be noted that drug possession doesn’t mean that someone is a bad person. You could be caught with possession of drugs if you just picked them up from your dealer and are traveling home. You might feel like the risk of getting caught is a necessary one compared to the pain and suffering that you feel during withdrawal if you don’t get the drugs. In this case, drug possession charges are a sign that addiction has taken control over your life.

What Are the Benefits of Rehab Over Prison?

Putting an addict in jail only stops their behavior temporarily. Although the person will no longer be carrying drugs on the street, they’ll likely return to their former habits as soon as they get home. Some people are even able to find the drugs they want while they are in jail. There can also be dangerous consequences for forcing someone to detox without the right types of support since withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening.

There are many benefits of rehab over jail time that should always be considered during the sentencing process.

  • prevent overcrowding in jails
  • stop repeat offenses
  • promote better health in the community
  • help restore families and keep parents connected to their children
  • reduce reliance on community support resources for people reentering society from jail

Does Mandatory Rehab Work for Treating Addiction?

The benefits of addiction treatment are clear, but there is also the question of whether or not a person can be forced to get sober. Mandatory drug rehab is often offered as an alternative to jail time. The goal is not to assume that a person will get sober just because a court orders them to do so. Instead, the idea is to require them to go to rehab where they’ll be able to clear their mind and body of drugs so that they can make better decisions. After a few days in rehab, many people are able to make the conscious decision to get sober. At this point, the rehab program becomes even more effective. Attending therapy sessions helps people to see the reasons why they use drugs and figure out how to stop doing them when they get home.

What Should You Do If You Are Forced to Go to Rehab?

Your reaction to court-mandated rehab might range from disbelief and denial that you have a problem to fear that you might not succeed with your last chance to avoid prison. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to make this time in your life more successful. First, try to accept the possibility that this judgment was made because you show signs of having a serious drug problem. It is also possible that you’ve already undergone an assessment that demonstrates that you can benefit from going to rehab. Now that you know that this is your best option for avoiding jail time, you’ll want to make sure to follow the plan. Make sure to stay for your full course of treatment and attend any follow up care. Taking this time seriously can help you to end a life of crime and become an upstanding citizen in your community. The best part is that you’ll also emerge from treatment with a brighter future that includes better health and the opportunity to enjoy a successful life.

Are you facing legal problems from using drugs or just worried about the possibility of going to jail? If so, then our counselors can help you create a plan to treat your addiction. Give us a call at 772-934-6580 today.