By Jim Woods
Substance use and legal problems often go hand in hand. Maybe you’ve been caught driving while under the influence, or perhaps other poor choices, such as fighting or stealing, led to legal consequences. Whatever challenges you’re facing, know that you’re not alone. This article will encourage you and guide you through some of your options.
One of the reasons legal issues often accompany a drug problem is because your judgment becomes clouded when you use drugs. As you continue to use, the drugs actually change the chemistry of your brain. Specifically, long-term chronic drug abuse disrupts the way critical brain structures interact.1 Over time, you need higher quantities of the drug to feel normal, and continued drug use can impair your ability to make sound decisions.
Change Is Needed
While it’s stressful to face legal problems, you can use this negative situation to leverage the fact that you need to change your life. It’s understandable to be worried about your future. But here’s the good news: You have several proven options to help you find recovery and move forward.
If you’re concerned about your legal problems because you have an upcoming deadline or appointment with a judge, it’s best to talk to your lawyer, as the details of each case vary. Ask your lawyer about your options before coming to any conclusions. But it’s never the wrong time to decide to seek help and start a new life for yourself.
Remember, whenever you speak to your lawyer, you have attorney-client privilege. This law secures the private information you share with your attorney from being disclosed to other people.2 So you can ask him or her for counsel about getting treatment for your drug problem. In many cases, committing to go to treatment can show your judge that you are, in fact, serious about getting clean.
Drug Court Can Help
Drug court is often another possibility. These are separate from the normal court system. Eligibility for drug court depends first on where you live and on the local, city, county and state laws as well.
Drug court provides you with options for intensive treatment to get clean and gives you accountability through drug testing and judicial reviews. If you don’t meet your obligations, you’ll likely face some form of penalty.3 But if drug court is available, it can be a good option to discuss with your lawyer.
Many districts use drug court instead of traditional sentencing because of the many personal, social and economic benefits found through these programs. According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, parents in family drug court are twice as likely to both go to and complete treatment.4
Alternatives to Drug Court
If drug court isn’t available to you, seeking residential drug treatment on your own is another great option. In many cases, this form of treatment is even covered by insurance. Here are a few questions that can help you move forward when looking at treatment options:
- What are your options as far as length of treatment?
- Is your information held confidentially?
- Does the facility have experience working with drug courts or other programs?
- Are evidence-based forms of treatment used?
Sadly, not all drug treatment centers will offer you the integrated, comprehensive care you deserve. Skywood Recovery offers everything you need to live without drugs, including detox programs, behavioral therapy and long-term follow-up.
If you have any questions, please call now to speak with one of our admissions coordinators. We’re here to serve you. Your entire outlook and perspective can change once you’re clean and sober. You’ll be able to make good choices that support a healthy life without drugs. Please don’t wait until tomorrow — start moving forward in your recovery today.
1 “Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, July 2014.
2 “What Is Attorney Client Privilege?” The Law Dictionary, Accessed January 12, 2018.
3 “What Are Drug Courts?” National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Accessed January 12, 2018.
4 “Drug Courts Work.” National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Accessed January 12, 2018.