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There can be a multitude of different consequences and repercussions of addiction. Such consequences can affect a person’s relationships, career, education, and many other things within their life. But one type of consequence that many addicts end up becoming subject to is that of legal repercussions. The unfortunate reality is that addiction and legal issues often go hand in hand.
Addiction can cause a person to behave in ways that they never would while sober. Whatever the person to person case may be, the point is that addiction can bring about a series of actions that can cause the person to get into legal trouble. Some of the many common legal issues that can arise during the course of addiction can include:
Theft can be a very common occurrence when a person is struggling with addiction. Addiction will completely take over a person’s life, which brings about a situation where they will do whatever they have to obtain their substance of choice. Addicts are often either low income or indigent and funding a drug habit can become quite expensive for them. This can cause them to steal money or possessions from strangers, co-workers, family, or friends. While family and friends may not press charges (sometimes they do) and general public and co-workers will often press charges. Theft can vary in the punishment received depending upon the value and amounts of what was stolen, and it can range from a misdemeanor to even a felony.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common forms of illegal acts that one takes part in during the course of drug abuse. A person may feel that they are in a perfectly good state of mind to drive, or know that they are under the influence and simply assume that they will not get caught. There is also the factor that some may not even think about the legal issues due to being in a different state of mind as a result of their intoxication. Driving under the influence is extremely dangerous to the driver, any passengers, and others on the road. The reality is that many people die every year from either crashing as the driver under the influence, or from hitting someone else. Most DUI’s tend to be attributed to alcohol use, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 16% of vehicle crashes in 2014 involved drugs other than alcohol. The penalties for a DUI can vary between states but the first offense tends to be something like DUI classes, a few nights in jail, and perhaps license suspension. However, repeated offenses or injuries or deaths sustained from a DUI can be a felony and of course can end up in long durations of jail or prison stays.
There can be a multitude of crimes involved with prescription drug abuse. For instance, selling or giving out prescription medications to those who are not prescribed them, as well as fraudulently obtaining prescriptions, are both examples. The latter can be achieved through several means, including but not limited to:
- Faking Symptoms to obtain Medications
- Forging Prescriptions
- Stealing Prescription Pads
- Replicating Prescriptions for Repeated Use
- Altering the Quantity or Type of Drug on the Prescription
- Impersonating Medical Staff
Prescription fraud is a very serious offense. It is a felony and those convicted could receive up to 5 years in prison, but in rare cases, some individuals are able to negotiate a deal for probation and rehab instead.
Dealing and Possession of Drugs
A large amount of arrests and legal consequences tend to arise from the activities of dealing or possessing a certain type of illicit substance. Of course, dealing is highly illegal, and meth, heroin, and other dealers can land themselves with significant penalties. Then there is the factor of possession. Of course, it is no crime to possess a medication for which one has a legal prescription, but for those possessing medications that are not prescribed, possessing illicit substances like heroin or meth, or sometimes even just possessing paraphernalia, such persons can be arrested and prosecuted for having these things. This is common because individuals will often carry them with them, or have them in their cars or homes. The penalties for these activities can vary greatly depending on whether the person was dealing, what type of substance it was, and how much they had on them. It can easily be a felony or misdemeanors depending upon the above factors.
When Seeking Help for A Drug or Alcohol Addiction
It is a tough situation for an individual who is struggling with addiction, and it can also be difficult for family members to witness their loved one struggling. Fortunately, there is help out there to assist the person in overcoming their addiction. Addiction can become very severe, and often does require treatment for the person to be able to get past it. There are many different types and modalities of treatment out there, which can make it difficult to know which one to choose at times. We are here to help with precisely that, as our staff are familiar with the various centers and types of treatment across the nation, and can help find you or your loved one the ideal fit. Takes the first steps into recovery and give us a call today.