People who are facing a drug charge often need to get help for an underlying addiction — but the criminal justice system in the United States isn’t really equipped to handle that. Instead, the courts focus heavily on punishments. While this does impose consequences for breaking the law, it does very little to help the person avoid getting back into legal trouble again.
This is especially evident when it comes to possession of drug charges. Oftentimes, the people facing these charges have medical issues, including mental health problems or addiction, that need to be addressed. Being addicted to drugs is something that is difficult to cope with and not something that is cured through imprisonment.
Depending on the drug that the person is using, they may need to have a medically monitored withdrawal period. Stopping the use of some drugs abruptly can cause harsh side effects that aren’t easily managed by the person at home. Drug rehabilitation programs can help these individuals; however, this might not be a possibility if the person is heading straight to jail or prison.
There isn’t an easy answer to the conundrum the court faces, but drug court is one option that’s better than most. If you’re addicted to drugs and facing criminal charges related to that, you might opt to pursue an alternative sentence that helps you to get the help you need while still addressing the fact that you broke the law. Drug court might be an option for you if your case and criminal record meet the program’s requirements.