Category : Health
Due to the growing problem of addiction to prescription narcotics as well as to drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin, an increasing number of addicted women are being caught up in the criminal justice system. Because society is becoming much more aware of the prevalence of addiction as well as the societal and personal costs of drug abuse, courts are beginning to use alternative sentencing programs in lieu of sentencing women to prison or jail for their nonviolent offenses. Alternative sentencing programs used when drug addiction is the issue normally involve drug rehab for women.
Treatment can provide long-term benefits
While drug treatment may help women to avoid sentences to jail or prison that should not be the only reason why a woman should consider participating in an alternative sentencing program. Drug rehabilitation treatment can help women to receive the education they need to become healthier and start their lives anew. Recidivism rates are high for jailed drug offenders who do not receive treatment. Jails and prisons do not have the resources available to adequately treat women’s addiction problems and there is increasing recognition that treatment is a better option than incarceration.
The importance of committing to recovery
Women who plan to go into drug treatment should make certain that they commit themselves fully to recovering. Most alternative sentencing programs require participants to submit to random urinalysis at facilities that are authorized to conduct drug screenings for the state. When women meet with their counselors for their assessments, they may be referred to outpatient counseling services if they are able to manage their addictions while living in the community.
Women who are more severely addicted may be referred to inpatient treatment under medical supervision. After completing treatment, women are sometimes referred to sober-living group homes so they can learn to live substance free. With a positive attitude, women can overcome their addictions by adhering to their treatment programs.
Arrest doesn’t mean change can’t happen
When a woman is arrested, it can be a life-changing experience. By addressing her addiction problems, she can move forward with her life and start a new, happier chapter. Prosecutors and judges recognize that getting women the help they need to overcome their addictions is preferable to sentencing them to jail and then later seeing them back in court on new charges. For addicted women who do not get help, the courthouse often becomes an almost revolving door as they continue to commit crimes to finance their addiction. Addiction can overpower people, leading them to do things they otherwise wouldn’t do in order to get more drugs.
Not everyone is able to participate in drug rehabilitation as an alternative to prison or jail. Women who have been charged with a first-time offense may want to ask their criminal defense lawyers about the possibility of participating in a program. Even if it has not been initially offered by the prosecutor, it is possible that a criminal defense attorney may be able to secure such a plea offer through negotiation. Overcoming addiction is difficult, but women can do it with the help they can receive during drug treatment programs. Successful completion of treatment means they can begin a new life minus a dependency on drugs.