The legal ramifications of drug addiction are a common concern for people who have been arrested for possession or distribution of illegal drugs. In fact, police may often raid a home where a person is addicted to drugs and find evidence of the abuse. The police may then file charges that reflect these findings and bring an individual to trial for criminal charges. If the defendant is convicted of these charges, they may be subjected to jail time and penalties on other Federal drug offenses.
There are two elements that must be considered when assessing the legal ramifications of drug addiction- actual addiction and intent. Each element weighs heavily in determining whether substance abuse is taking place.
Assessing legal ramifications for the intention
With intent, the courts look at whether the defendant actually understood what he was doing when he used drugs. Some people who are addicted to prescription pain medications such as morphine may use these medications under the influence of another substance or get high. They may realize when they are given a prescription by their doctor that they have a problem with this substance and will face serious legal ramifications if they are convicted of possession with intent to distribute.
Assessing legal ramifications for actual addiction
Actual addiction, however, is not so cut-and-dry. If a drug user does end up using drugs in a legal sense, he or she may still be faced with the legal Ramifications of drug addiction. In many cases, the person who was charged with drug possession realized that he or she had a problem when faced with a prescription from a doctor. This means that while the prescription may have been legal, the act itself may be illegal. Therefore, if the drug was used by the patient for the purpose of getting high or to feel better, the patient may still be charged with drug addiction.
Substance abuse does not have to come in the form of illegal drugs. Legal substances such as alcohol and caffeine are just as bad for the body as illegal drugs. An addicted person can take alcohol and caffeine and still have a terrible effect on their life. This is why the ramifications of substance abuse are just as real for those who use legal substances as they are for those who abuse them. It is also important for drug addicts to realize that their legal troubles are not going to make the situation any easier on them.
How to avoid ramification of drug addiction?
The first step a drug addict needs to take if they plan on avoiding the ramifications of drug addiction is to seek help. A number of agencies and support groups exist for the person grappling with substance abuse. They can be offered residential treatment or outpatient counseling. The cost of treatment can vary greatly depending on the severity of the addiction and the amount of time the devoted treatment program will have to complete. Those drug addicts who do not want to go through the trauma of going to court can find solace in the fact that there are organizations that offer services for free.