Can Any Good Come from a Drug Charge?

Legal problems are one sign of a substance abuse problem. Sound judgment is one of the first casualties of drug use. As an addiction progresses, many individuals become increasingly reckless about using in high-risk situations. They may drive while intoxicated or use while caring for children, for example. Or they may get careless about sharing and selling drugs with others, or engage in unprotected sex. Invariably, negative consequences begin to appear in every sector of their lives.

How a person responds to getting busted is also an indicator of how willing they are to get sober. Common reactions found among individuals who are in denial that they have a substance abuse disorder include the following:

  • Next time, I’ll be smarter
  • I had bad luck
  • I’m unfairly targeted
  • The law is making a big deal out of nothing

Although getting caught by the police and charged with illicit drug use can be scary and costly, there is a way to view the experience in a positive light. For some, getting charged with a crime becomes a life-saving wake-up call that shatters their denial. Experts define denial as failing to be honest about something that is obviously wrong or broken. Examples include the following:

  • Refusing to acknowledge a stressful problem or situation
  • Avoiding facing facts of a situation
  • Minimizing the consequences of the situation

Denial is a major tool that allows addicts to continue using despite negative consequences. By turning a blind eye to the destruction caused by drug use, shutting out warnings they hear from concerned family and friends and refusing to see how their behavior deviates from the norm, they can ignore the danger and keep getting high.

Getting Honest: The First Step Toward Recovery

In order to get sober, addicted individuals must first acknowledge problematic drug use. That is where legal problems can become recovery catalysts. Although addicts may dismiss the warning signs all around them, it is often more difficult to accuse the judge presiding over a drug charge of unfair treatment or overreaction. Paying associated lawyer fees and court fines can also jolt an addict into reality.

Getting charged is painful. Watching someone you love face drug charges can be equally excruciating. Many parents, partners and friends struggle with the temptation to bail the addicted person out. Frequently, they believe that rescuing him or her “one last time” will provide a fresh start and a clean slate. It will not. The best way to help a person with a substance-abuse problem get sober is often to step aside, not cushion the blow.

Getting Help for Drug Addiction

If you or someone you love struggles with drug addiction, help is available. Admissions coordinators at our toll free, 24-hour support line can guide you to wellness. Don’t go it alone when help is just one phone call away. Start your recovery now.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email