Statistics show that over 20 million Americans have some form of addiction. These addictions can vary in nature, but even the most relatively mild of addictions can cause grave consequences, both for the addict and those around them, with tens of thousands of Americans dying from drug overdoses every year, countless lives being lost and damaged to alcohol, and a lot of loved ones having to watch people they care about suffer and struggle due to their dependence on certain substances.
Substance abuse and addiction can clearly have a lot of consequences, damaging almost every aspect of a person’s life from their personal health to their career prospect, relationships with others, and so on. In many cases, a lot of addicts may know that they need to change but can struggle to find the force to make that change. This is where court-ordered rehab can really make a difference, and this guide will cover a range of commonly asked questions on the matter.
What Exactly Is Court-Ordered Rehab?
Court-ordered rehab is a form of alternative sentencing; rather than issuing someone a fine or prison sentence for their crime, a judge may decide to send them to rehab, hoping that they’ll be able to recover from their addictions and lead better lives in the future. Given that around 80% of crimes have drug or alcohol connections, it’s clear to see that this can be a viable form of sentencing in a lot of different cases.
What’s the Reasoning Behind Court-Ordered Rehab?
So why does court-ordered rehab exist in the first place? Well, as stated above, a lot of crimes are connected with drugs and alcohol, and a lot of people have substance abuse and addiction problems. What’s more, past studies have shown that when drug or alcohol addicts go to jail, they tend to slip back into their same habits when they get out, re-offending and ending up behind bars once more.
Court-ordered rehab is a way to essentially improve the odds of the offender, not re-offending, giving them a chance to turn their life around. It also helps to reduce the risk of overcrowding in prisons, as well as giving judges another more lenient and compassionate option in cases where individuals who have committed crimes because of their addictions can avoid jail time and get the help they need.
Does Court-Ordered Rehab Work?
Court-ordered rehab clearly has noble intentions, but many people wonder if the system really works at helping addicts break out of their dependencies and start living better lives. Well, the data from court-ordered rehab programs is actually very promising.
Studies have shown that people who partake in court-ordered rehab are likely to overcome their addictions and this form of rehab is usually just as effective as voluntary rehab. In many cases, court-ordered rehab can act like a ‘wake-up call’ for people who need it, allowing them to turn their lives around once and for all.
Who Is Eligible for Court-Ordered Rehab?
Court-ordered rehab isn’t an option for every crime involving drugs or alcohol. There are certain criteria that need to be met before a judge can actually consider this as an option of alternative sentencing, so it’s important to note that just because a crime may be drug or alcohol-related, the offender might not be allowed to escape jail time and enter rehab instead.
In order to qualify for court-ordered rehab, an offender must have committed a non-violent crime. So anything violent, such as domestic abuse, assault, battery, or murder, will not count. The offense must also be directly or indirectly connected to the offender’s addiction to drugs or alcohol. The court must also believe that the offender has a real chance of benefiting from rehab, and the offender in question must be eligible for a probationary sentence.
How Long Does a Person Have to Participate in Court-Ordered Rehab?
Many people wonder how long you actually have to be in the court-ordered rehab program before you’re allowed to leave and return to regular life. The specifics can vary from case to case, and ultimately, it’s up to the judge to decide the length of a person’s term in a rehab facility.
The offender must attend the program for the full length of time specified by the judge. They’ll also need to carry out community service, completely abstain from all drugs and alcohol, and complete random drug/alcohol tests in the future to ensure that they are fulfilling this pledge.
Court-ordered rehab can seem quite complicated at first, but once you understand how the system works, it’s a lot easier to approach and see the benefits. Hopefully, this guide has helped you develop a stronger understanding of how and why court-ordered rehab works.