A Close Look at Seeking Treatment Before Legal Proceedings
Unfortunately, one of the things that often comes along with being a drug addict is constant fights with the law. The archaic drug laws of old are slowly being recognized as being absolutely no help in fighting this war on drugs that our country is facing.
But that does little help for those of us already caught up in the court system, and wondering: will rehab help my court case?
Keep reading to get answers to this question and to learn more about my own personal experiences, and a bit about why choosing South Shores Recovery for treatment can make sense if you are struggling with charges and trying to change your life.
The Punishing Nature of Drug Laws in Our Country
Drug laws in the United States aim to regulate and control substances but have faced criticism for various reasons, including their impact on incarceration rates, racial disparities, and the challenge of addressing underlying issues like addiction as a health concern.
I know every time that I have been to jail, nearly every person I talk to is in there for the same thing, drugs or drug-related crimes. It is easy for nearly anyone to see how our criminal justice system is focused on punishing addicts with a disease, rather than helping reform them.
My Own Interactions with the Criminal Justice System
So personally, I have been to jail multiple times, every time for drug possession. Every time I went to jail, I swore to myself that I would never be back. But yet I kept going back.
I would promise that I was going to quit every time, and every time I would go back to getting high. That’s because my jail time didn’t help reform me, it only made my life more difficult making it harder for me to quit getting high. However, my last arrest, in December of 2020, ended up being the catalyst for me going to rehab to regain my life.
Incarceration Doesn’t Stop Addictive Behaviors
I wish I could say I got out of jail and never picked up again, but I was a junky and that wasn’t even an option for me at the time. I continued getting high, not worrying about or what would happen when I went to court. Well actually, I think I was worrying and that’s why I continued getting high.
My family and friends continued to try to push me to enter rehab facilities. I finally conceded; I was set to go to rehab the day after Christmas in 2020.
Going into Treatment… and Finally Embracing the Opportunity
If I’m being honest, I went to drug and alcohol rehab again not with the intent of getting sober, but to help me to try and get out of trouble when I went to court. I had been to treatment multiple times, but this time ended up being different. While I was in treatment, something finally clicked. I decided to try living a different way, to try to actually live the life that I was meant to live.
When I got out of treatment I continued doing everything that I was supposed to. And guess what? It worked finally. I went to meetings, did step work, got a sponsor, and started therapy. I was finally clean and actually living. Four months of being clean and I was a new person. I went to court excited to finally close the drug addict chapter of my life.
Going to Court After Attending Rehab
I showed up to court that day positive I was going to leave with all of my charges dropped. However, things often don’t go as planned. I felt I deserved leniency. I was doing the right things and now I was ready to get what I thought I deserved.
However, the judge looked at the legal case and my very long record and didn’t feel the same way as I did. He gave me three options: keep my felony, go back to jail, or go to treatment for three months. I obviously decided to go back to a treatment program.
Court Order Rehab and Addiction Treatment Can Work
What I originally looked at as a punishment, ended up being a blessing in disguise. The favorable outcome allowed me to go back to treatment and allowed me to work on my real problem. My problem was not the substance abuse; my real problem was me.
Looking back, I now realize that the Judge did me a favor. Once I finished my additional three months of treatment, I was free. No probation, no felony; I was finally on my way to having the life that I wanted.
Showing Commitment in the Eyes of a Judge
For the first time since I was sixteen, I was no longer a slave to a substance. I no longer was filled with self-hatred.
Today, I am convinced the only reason the judge had mercy on me was he could see that I was actually trying for the first time and I had taken responsibility for my actions. I was proactive instead of reactive and had sought treatment for my addiction.
After so many years of fighting against the legal system, I now no longer have to worry about my criminal behavior leading me to jail time.
Choosing a Rehab Center If You Have A Pending Court Case
Based on my experience with substance abuse issues, I would highly suggest anyone with a pending court case not only go to a drug rehabilitation program but actually try to change and truly work on your drug or alcohol problem.
When choosing a treatment center, I would suggest looking for a few things. First, most good inpatient treatment centers will assign you a case manager who will help you with the legal process and your court case. A good case manager has been trained to help people with their legal battles. They will try to make it as stress-free as possible.
They will keep in contact with your lawyer, your probation officer regarding rehab, and anyone else who might be involved with the legal proceedings process. They will also do their best to help you avoid jail time.
Seeking Out an Effective Dual Diagnosis Program
The second thing I would prioritize when choosing a treatment center is to be sure you choose one that is a dual-diagnosis facility. What that means, is the facility not only works on the addiction and drug abuse, but also the underlying mental health issues. I thought that my problem was drugs and alcohol.
I learned that my problem was me, and my solution to the “me” problem was using drugs and alcohol. I realized in order to finally stay clean I had to look at any mental disorders I may have been suffering from.
Lastly, I would suggest seeking out the best possible therapist (for you) during your time in treatment – and afterward – one who will help you truly make the changes you need to get and hopefully stay clean. I learned it was important to be completely open and honest with my therapist.
If not, what is the point of even having therapy? The intensive therapy I got was exactly what I needed in order to finally stop going back to drugs and alcohol.
What To Expect When You Go To Rehab
So I won’t lie to you and say I was completely comfortable when I first got to my rehab facility. However, under medical supervision, I was able to deal with the withdrawal symptoms and legal pressure I faced, and I also was able to finally look at my own mental health. My legal issues pressured me to enter a rehab program and finally look clearly at my substance use disorder.
When I finally started seeking treatment, I was able to gain the resources needed to not only get clean and sober but to stay clean and sober. I would highly recommend anyone struggling with drug addiction enter a top-rated drug rehab center, like South Shores.
I promise you, if you go in with the right attitude it will be one of the best decisions you can ever make.
Drug Courts Alone Could Not Force Change
If you are not familiar with drug court, it is an option that the judge may give you to help get rid of your legal issues. However, drug court is not addiction treatment. It is not substance abuse treatment. It is showing up to court dates for random drug tests and passing them. If you are an addict or alcoholic like me, this will never help you get sober.
I had tried drug court multiple times, but I was never able to succeed or pass the drug testing. Due to my drug use and alcohol abuse, I continued to fail in drug court. Being under drug court supervision did nothing for me. I kept failing or missing the drug testing due to my inability to seek medical treatment for my disease. I was not working on my mental health problems or fixing myself in any way.
Entering Into Rehab Can Help You Turn Your Life Around
Going to a rehab facility was by far the best decision I have made in my life. I don’t have to carry around the weight of addiction anymore. I don’t have to worry about getting arrested ever again. I don’t have to worry about where my next high will come from, who will answer or not answer their phones, or where I will get money for my next fix.
On top of that, the court system helped me leave behind my criminal charges. The structured environment of my rehab program helped me deal with my impulsivity.
How Treatment at South Shores Can Lesson Legal Consequences
A good rehabilitation program can positively impact a court case by showing a commitment to addressing underlying issues. It might influence the court’s perception of your willingness to change and take responsibility for your past actions.
Although I wasn’t fortunate enough to attend South Shores Recovery during my using days, I regularly witness the success of clients in their dual diagnosis programs.
In my opinion, most of us drug addicts are not bad people. We have a disease that causes us to often do things we wouldn’t usually do and don’t align with our own moral compasses. A willingness to get help could certainly show the judge that we are not bad people and we want to get better.
Going to treatment may not directly affect the legal process or outcome of your court case, but it can certainly influence the judge’s perception of your commitment to change. South Shores offers a terrific team of case managers who can help you through every step of the court process.
Reach Out to South Shores: Get Support to Improve Your Situation
If you are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, South Shores is a great place to try to get help. South Shores treats the individual, not the addiction. They offer a Joint Commission-accredited dual diagnosis facility with professionally trained and licensed therapists who can help you escape the prison that is addiction.
Please, if you or a loved one are looking for addiction treatment, pick up the phone and call their caring team. South Shores offers different treatment options (both inpatient and outpatient treatment) that can offer assistance with the legal process you may be facing.
Addiction recovery is not impossible and support is ready and waiting, so make the confidential call now!