If a family member, close friend or partner is caught up in the self-destructive cycle of substance abuse and in denial of the situation, the criminal justice system might require court-ordered rehab as part of the sentence. Substance abuse treatment causes a decline in physical and mental health, so it’s better to get them professional help than leave it to chance.
Substance use disorders are chronic, progressive diseases. If left untreated, they tend to get worse. Your loved one could decline further and end up in a far worse situation than they would under the supervision of the United States criminal court system. While the idea of a jail sentence might be daunting, it’s unlikely in many instances. Judges are encouraged to help first-time offenders get access to rehabilitation.
If you or a loved one need help now please call 844-254-9664 or visit our admissions page to learn more about getting started with our court-ordered rehab program in Fort Myers, Florida.
What Is Court-Ordered Drug Rehab?
The prison system is in crisis, with millions of people in jail for drug-related crimes. In fact, a disproportionately high number of inmates have substance abuse problems, and sending more people there for crimes solely related to drugs is no longer viable. Judges are highly unlikely to send someone whose only crime relates to obtaining and using drugs to prison to contribute further to this problem.
Alternative sentencing has become the norm as lawmakers have come to understand drug addiction as a public health matter as opposed to a criminal matter. As such, someone who goes through the legal system is likely to get a court order to get a detox and attend rehab for therapy and access to support groups and health care professionals. Families can request drug court through their legal representative.
What Are the Criteria for Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment?
There are certain instances where reporting a loved one for a drug-related offense could lead to harsher sentencing. If any of the following are relevant, the judge might not grant an drug addiction treatment program as a sentence:
- The individual has committed a violent crime
- The offense involved something else other than drug or alcohol use, e.g., a DUI
- Health care professionals deem the individual as fit and don’t diagnose an SUD
Even if the person does fall into this bracket, there’s a strong chance they’d only get a suspended sentence or community service as opposed to jail time. It’s vital that you think very carefully about whether this short-term disruption might be preferable to letting them continue on a downward spiral.
How to Get Someone Court-Ordered Rehab?
The route to getting someone into court-ordered drug rehab is reporting them to the police for a crime, such as possession of illegal substances. While this holds a lot of family members back from taking this action, it’s actually the kindest thing you can do for the sufferer and the community.
Substance abuse disorders have a detrimental impact on society, in addition to harming the addicted person, their family and their community. You should be particularly concerned about methamphetamine, opiates and crack cocaine, but behavior, physical and mental health can be severely damaged by milder substances, too.
There are some instances where individuals who struggle with drug addiction won’t listen to reason at all. Denial and self-deception are part of the territory when it comes to SUDs, but it’s worth exhausting every avenue before resorting to the legal system. If they simply can’t see the glaring issue with their behavior, you can call the police and ask them to screen your loved one.
The police will take your loved one into custody and work with health care professionals to assess your situation. If they deem that the person is not in control of their actions as a result of a substance use disorder, they’ll consider drug court. Addiction will have to be taking a demonstrable toll on their health and ability to function for this to be a viable course of action.
If you’re unsure whether your family member is suffering from a condition severe enough to warrant court action, we’d recommend speaking to an addiction expert so they can offer guidance and advice on how to get someone court-ordered rehab.