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Does jail time help with addiction?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2022 | Drug Crimes

Many people who are arrested on drug charges are actually just addicted to those drugs. For instance, there are many stories about people using painkillers to treat authentic ailments and then becoming addicted to them over time. This could happen, for example, with something like Oxycontin.

By the time the police actually discover the illegal drug usage and make an arrest, that individual is physically and mentally dependent on the substance in question. What the courts will often seek in these scenarios are sentences that put offenders behind bars. But is this actually helping?

Rehab may be a better option

As you can imagine, jail time does very little for drug addiction. It may force someone to get clean because they don’t have access to drugs, but it doesn’t give them any treatment for the addiction that they’re suffering from. Addiction is a disease, after all, and it’s not being addressed at all when someone is just locked up.

This is why those who get out often turn right back to drugs as soon as they do. They still struggle with addiction, they have not developed any coping mechanisms, they haven’t talked to any medical professionals and they don’t know what else to do. They likely wish that they weren’t addicted and they weren’t illegally using drugs, but it feels like everything is out of their control. In a case like that, rehab may be a far better and more productive option. 

Thankfully, the courts do sometimes recognize this issue and they may allow for the use of certain drug court programs rather than jail time. It’s very important to understand all of the options you have if you’re facing charges.