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Why is drug addiction treated like a crime?

If you or a loved one suffers with an addiction, you know first-hand how quickly your life can get out of control. You don't want to do the things you do, but the power of the drug often leaves you no choice. It doesn't help that society treats addiction like a crime, blocking you from getting help seemingly at every turn.

One arrest for possession of the smallest amount of a controlled substance may send you down a road from which you can't easily return. The penalties and repercussions of a drug possession conviction can be long-term and do nothing to help you break the cycle of drug use and arrest. While drug addiction is not a crime, you may feel there is no escaping the legal consequences.

How can society improve the chances for a better future?

A conviction for a drug crime, even simple possession, can quickly result in cataclysmic changes to your life. You may lose your job, be unable to pay your rent or mortgage, and forfeit your eligibility for many government programs and employment opportunities. Because of the hefty fines, your finances may deteriorate, affecting your marriage and other relationships, including the custody of your children. These circumstances are not conducive to recovery from drug addiction.

Some changes in society and the way the courts handle cases like yours may begin to alter the overwhelming epidemic of addiction. Those who counsel people with substance abuse issues see many ways to amend the path you may be on as you struggle with your addiction, for example:

  • The medical community can continue to promote a better understanding of drug addiction as a disease, not a crime.
  • Courts can begin to offer residential treatment programs for those charged with minor crimes related to drug use, such as possession.
  • Hospitals may develop new methods for caring for babies born addicted to drugs to prevent them from becoming addicts as adults.
  • Lawmakers can re-evaluate the punishments for parents of opioid-addicted babies.

If you are currently facing charges of possession or other non-violent drug crimes in North Carolina, you may qualify for alternatives to jail or debilitating fines. With a compassionate legal advocate who is dedicated to your best interests, you can rest assured someone will fight for the best option to truly help you recover instead of preventing you from receiving the treatment you need. There is hope for the future if you are able to get on the right path.

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Brannen & Walker Attorneys at law

141 Union Street S
Concord, NC 28025

Phone: 704-594-4128
Fax: 866-413-9893
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