When a Raleigh Durham resident abuses drugs and/or alcohol, he essentially loses himself in his abuse. This means that he is no longer in control of his actions, as his dependency issues have caused him to do whatever necessary to keep using, regardless of what it costs. As a result, an addicted individual in Raleigh Durham is likely to face legal repercussions that incriminate themselves rather than encourage recovery.
The Downside of Treating Addiction as a Crime
Treating addiction as a crime can be incredibly detrimental to not just the addict but also those around him. Addiction is a disease, meaning that it is something that is not a decision made by the user, but rather something that is caused by genetic and environmental factors. Therefore, treating it as a crime can cause a number of different consequences for Raleigh Durham residents, including the following:
- Not providing treatment – When an addict is facing legal consequences for actions he took related to his addiction, it is more likely that he will be sentenced for those actions rather than provided with the appropriate form of therapeutic care. As a result, they do their time and then upon being released, start the cycle of addiction over again. This will only keep them in and out of court systems rather than helping them get sober.
- Creating negative stigma – Since many addicts in Raleigh Durham experience legal issues, the general public often groups them in with other criminals who have committed crimes for other reasons outside the disease of addiction. Addicts are not bad people, however when their actions are treated as such, the public develops a negative view of them.
- Fueling addiction – Those who are addicts often see how they are treated once their addiction lands them in a courtroom, which often creates resentment and anger. They are more likely to be negatively affected by this treatment in ways that predispose them to continue to use rather than get treatment
When addiction is treated as a crime, it does not allow those Raleigh Durham residents who need treatment to get it, it creates a negative stigma about addicts in general, and can continually fuel an individual’s addiction to a point where he feels like there is nothing left to do but use.
Dealing with Addiction in Court
For those addicts in Raleigh Durham who find themselves in court, it is possible to get the help that is needed rather than just become a victim of the system. This can be done by taking a plea deal, working with a lawyer to go to treatment rather than jail, and attempting to get sober rather than continue to engage in negative behaviors. By doing one or more of these things, Raleigh Durham residents can lessen their sentences and get the help they deserve.
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