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Why is treatment a better alternative to jail for drug abusers?

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2019 | Criminal Defense

Every day people in Washington are arrested or go to jail for drug offenses. Many sell or buy drugs because they are addicted and become desperate. After they spend their time in jail, they leave and return to society with the same underlying issues that caused the abuse in the first place. That is why many are arguing for a treatment or rehabilitation option instead of jail or incarceration, including

Millions of Americans use illicit drugs, and the government estimates about eight percent of the population does so once they are 12 or older. Addiction often leads to criminal activity, partly because of the changes to the brain.

One reason advocates argue for treatment rather than incarceration is that every situation is unique, even if the offense is the same. While prison or jail time may be required for the crime under the law, addicted individuals often required a more effective response. Drug courts are a reasonable alternative to jail time as they work to help the behavior of the addicted individual and give them a second chance at life.

Those who are jailed for drug offenses are likely to commit another crime after being released if they have not received treatment. Drug courts and rehab centers help offenders build better lifestyle habits and identify triggers that led to drug abuse. This is not just beneficial for the offender, but also lessens the financial burden on taxpayers.

Drug courts require complete drug screens, counseling, meetings with a probation officer and regular reports to court for updates about failures or successes in the program. If you have been accused of committing a drug crime and feel you could benefit from treatment, you may want to speak to a criminal defense attorney.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.