Andrew H. Stevenson, Attorney at Law
Charges for drug crimes could provide a wake-up call for some
The simple fact is that many Ohio residents have an addiction problem. Being addicted to drugs is a sickness, and until some of them face charges for drug crimes, they may not seek the help they need. Once in the criminal justice system, the future of someone addicted to drugs could go one of two ways: Either the individual receives much needed help, or he or she ends up in the system, which more than likely will not provide the ability to kick the drug habit.
Even though an addict could "dry out" in jail or prison, without the proper treatment for the core causes of the problem, he or she will probably just return to using after release. The whole person requires treatment, not just the drug use. Often, only the first time a person takes drugs is voluntary. Thereafter, the drugs can take over, and the situation spirals out of control.
After dealing with the physical addiction, counseling could help deal with the reasons a person began using drugs in the first place. Some people need medications as part of their treatment. Long-term follow up is needed in order to ascertain the risk of relapse and prevent it. Does it sound as if an individual could receive what they need in an already overburdened criminal justice system?
Instead of going to jail or prison for drug crimes, some Ohio residents would be better served through a diversion program that provides them with the treatment they need in order to move past their addictions and regain their lives. Anyone arrested for drug crimes might be able to get that help with the right representation. Drug addicts often need someone to advocate on their behalves who understands this and will work tirelessly to deal with the real problem -- the addiction.
Source: drugabuse.gov, "Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction", Accessed on April 9, 2017