Using drugs and/or alcohol to excess oftentimes pushes individuals to illegal activities. Whether this is stealing, violence or driving under the influence, addicts are more likely to be arrested because of their substance abuse issues. For many this would mean jail or prison time, but some are lucky to receive a legal intervention. This means that instead of being incarcerated, they are given the opportunity to go to treatment.

Arrest May Lead to Court-Ordered Treatment

However, that opportunity comes with strict requirements that must be met by the individual. Offenders may have to go to a treatment center of the court’s choosing. They will likely have to send in documentation that they are still in attendance and compliant throughout their stay in treatment. They may have to stay longer in treatment because of their crime and they may still have probation afterwards. Additionally, the courts are generally very strict with addicts who leave court-ordered treatment before completing all the required therapy. Jail or prison time is almost guaranteed for individuals who do not complete their treatment programs.

Legal interventions and court-ordered rehab are a solution to a major problem in our society. Instead of putting drug users in jail to wait out their time, many courts have found that remanding them to treatment is a much better option. Giving people the chance to overcome their addiction.

Drug Courts

However, there are some down sides to legal interventions. Because the person has committed a crime, the courts are now making all the decisions. This means that families who have been trying to get their child into a particular rehab facility, especially one that is out of state, may be disappointed because the addict must stay local, or they are remanded to a particular facility that is designated for legal cases. So, while it is beneficial for the addict that they are being sent to treatment, they may not be going to the facility that the family feels is best for them.

Ideally, a family intervention would be held prior to any issues with the law, but legal action is oftentimes unavoidable. When a loved one that is struggling with addiction has legal issues, the best thing the family can do is let all parties involved know their wishes. This may mean that the family hires a lawyer so the offender can be sent to the treatment center of their choice. It may mean that the addict themselves asks for treatment rather than jail time, or it mean that the family steps aside and lets the addict face the consequences.

Dealing with a person who has a drug and/or alcohol problem is a frightening and confusing time for most people. But there are some important things to remember when dealing with legal interventions. If the family has any choice of treatment center it is vital that the facility is made aware of the addict’s legal issues. They will most likely have to provide documentation that the individual is in their care and status updates on their treatment. The next thing for families to keep in mind is that even though the addict is being sent to treatment because of their legal situation, it does not mean that they can’t be committed. Legal repercussions should be a wakeup call to the addict and they should view treatment as a gift, rather than a jail sentence. This may not occur right away, but at some point in their therapy this realization should be made.