TROUBLE WITH THE LAW? HOW ADDICTION CAN LEAD TO LEGAL PROBLEMS
People who are addicted are especially likely to get in trouble with the law. Addiction will try to kill you physically, mentally, and spiritually. It will also try hard to put shocking legal problems on your head when you don't expect them.
Think about this: they can kick you out of a bar for being loud and drunk, and that's the end of it, but they can't do the same thing on an aeroplane, even if they would like to. Instead, they'll probably take you to court, throw you in jail, and make you pay a very large fine. Not a good way to end your Spanish bachelor party. You might have never broken the law before. Chronic, careless drinking is often a sign of addiction, and that's just one way it can get you into trouble. there's a lot more. But it can get worse too. People who killed people while drunk are serving life sentences.
Addiction, especially to drugs, is characterised by the fact that once you start, you don't know where it will end. You are playing a game of chance with your life, and you don't know what will happen. That's part of the reason why fear is such a big part of the lives of people who are addicted. Because you need to keep your addiction going and try to control your own bad behaviour, you are likely to get in trouble with the law before you get clean.
The law is all around us. It is there to guide, protect, enforce, punish, regulate, and deter as well as to deliver decisions in countless civil disputes. Hopefully, for most of us, it remains a remotely benign background presence, a welcome sign of a properly run society. But you mess with it at your peril. The law is always painfully expensive – financially and emotionally.
The law is broadly split into two parts – criminal and civil. As an addict, if you’re not careful, you’ll probably encounter both. Here’s a list of typical legal problems that people with addiction of any kind can encounter. It’s a long list because the possibilities are very wide-ranging.
- Possessing and selling illegal drugs is against the law. Having alcohol in your possession is not illegal, but having more than a small number of illegal drugs will get you in trouble if you are caught. Dealing in any way is taken very seriously. There could be a fine or jail time.
- Violence at home and elsewhere is usually not planned, but it often happens after a lot of drinking or drug use. First-time offenders may get a suspended sentence, but if they do it again, they may go to prison.
- You only have to look at any town centre after pubs and clubs close at night to see how addiction makes people who would otherwise act normally act very badly. It may seem like a small thing, but you won't be eligible for legal aid and it could cause other problems, like putting your job at risk.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is like playing Russian roulette with your own life and the lives of everyone else on the road. The law takes a very dim view of it, and sentences can be harsh, even jail time.
- When it comes to sexual crimes, the law usually goes after people who make money from prostitution rather than those who have to do it to pay for a drug habit. People who are addicted often end up in more dangerous sexual situations where they are raped or abused because they are seen as easy to take advantage of because of their addiction. On the other hand, a lot of men get into big problems with drugs and alcohol, which can lead to rape when they try to have sex. The law gives long prison terms and fines for these kinds of crimes.
- People steal and lie to pay for their drug and alcohol habits. Drugs and alcohol are a big part of a lot of thefts. There are also a lot of large-scale thefts that happen because someone needs to keep gambling.
- Many things can go wrong in this kind of case, like breaking a contract or committing fraud. Addiction is often a factor because it makes people unreliable, dishonest, irresponsible, and sometimes just forgetful of their duties.
Your past run-ins with the law could make it hard for you to get a job, a loan, a house, or some kind of insurance in the future. There are rules about who can see your criminal record, and if you're not sure, check the government website.
The good news is that you can get over your addiction even if you have made mistakes in the past. The main goal of all 12-step recovery groups is to stay sober and help others do the same without judgement or bias. Community services that help people with addictions should be the same way. At Abhasa Luxury Rehabilitation Centre, we know that addiction always has bad effects, but it's how you deal with those effects that matters. We will be there for you every step of the way as you start to get better.
Prepared by: Mr. Denny Prasad, Psychologist
LinkedIn Id: https://www.linkedin.com/in/denny-prasad-b55028124