Addiction leads to all sorts of negative issues including poor health, high risk of death by overdose and exposure to criminal activity. Alcohol and drug abuse aren?t just hazardous to the body, but can also harm someone’s standing as a law-abiding citizen. Addiction can tempt otherwise socially responsible individuals to engage in dangerous, violent and illegal behaviors that carry significant legal consequences.
Any kind of substance abuse, if left unchecked for too long, can also severely impact personal finances. Over time, this can lead to more legal consequences on top of criminal charges. When the dust settles, a substance abuse problem can be extremely expensive in terms of paying for treatment, maintaining a healthier lifestyle and repaying debts to society for drug-related crimes.
Violating Drug Laws
Although drugs like alcohol and prescription medications are legal to own in some circumstances, substances such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine are highly regulated or illegal. The government assigns different classifications to potentially dangerous substances.
Handling or using these substances can lead to major problems with the law. Violating state or federal drug laws can mean serving a prison sentence in addition to compulsory rehabilitation. In fact, roughly 47% of federal prison inmates are serving time for drug offenses.
Trafficking and Other Felonies
Many people who develop addictions to illicit drugs wind up entrenched in drug-related activity. It?s common for addicted individuals to offer sexual services or other forms of compensation to drug dealers, which may include engaging in trafficking and distribution. Drug trafficking, especially when conducted across state lines, incurs serious penalties including large fines and prison time.
Additionally, the legal consequences of having an arrest record could make securing employment after completing treatment much more difficult.
Crimes Committed Under the Influence
Even minimal substance abuse opens up the possibility of engaging in illegal activity under the influence. A prime example is drunk driving. Simply getting caught operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is enough to lead to a driver?s license suspension, fines and jail time. However, these penalties increase drastically if the driver injures or kills anyone while under the influence.
The FinanciConsequences of Addiction
Addiction typically causes a significant financial strain for people struggling with substance abuse. On top of the cost of treatment, legal fees for handling drug-related criminal charges and civil actions tend to be substantial. It?s important to consider the potential financial harm that substance abuse can cause and consider it as motivation to seek treatment as early as possible.
Fines and Restitution
Drug-related crimes and civil offenses entail different penalties. A criminal act such as drug trafficking may incur fines and prison time. Damages inflicted on others or to their property can lead to civil actions, and those found liable will have to pay restitution costs. Failure to meet these payment requirements can lead to even more legal trouble. It is important that those struggling with addiction understand their obligations so they can fulfill them in good faith.
Finding Affordable Treatment
One of the biggest costs most people expect to incur due to substance abuse is the cost of treatment. However, affordable treatment is more attainable than you might expect.
At The Treatment Center, we recognize that people from all walks of life are in need of reliable treatment for substance abuse. That’s why we work with our clients to fund treatment, both through insurance and payment plans.
Want to learn more about dealing with the legal consequences of substance abuse while in treatment? Our court liaison services provide a priceless resource for those managing future court dates along with their recovery.