The public perception of those who are addicted to illegal drugs is often very negative. It is almost as if people do not understand that addiction is an illness.
Those who suffer from it often have no control over their actions or other conditions that they develop as a result. Drug addiction can lead to:
- Feelings of depression
- Manic episodes
- Heart attacks
- Violent fantasies
- Organ failure
These are just a few examples of the serious ramifications of addiction, and they show you just how detrimental it can be to someone's health. On top of this, an addict who has been abstaining from drugs can suffer from more "minor" issues like excessive cravings, headaches and nausea. The list of symptoms goes on and on.
Why is this important when considering drug crimes? Many addicts would choose to never commit crimes if they could do so. They don't buy drugs because they want to break the law or because they do not care about a civil society. They do it because they are physically and mentally dependent on them. They have a medical condition that needs to be treated. It is that simple.
For this reason, it is critical that those who get arrested for drug-related crimes understand all of their options. The typical response by the court is to put someone in jail or give them a hefty fine.
A better response may be to put that person in a treatment center where they can get clean, thus breaking this destructive cycle and actually reducing crime. There are drug programs that do this, and they may be open to certain individuals. That's why it's essential to discuss all of your legal options with a criminal defense attorney.