If you use drugs, distribute drugs or associate with others who do these things, you may find yourself facing serious legal trouble. Ending substance use disorder means ending potential consequences like fines, jail time, lost licenses and lost child custody.
Drug Use and Your Criminal Record
If you are convicted of a drug-related crime, you may have end up with a permanent criminal record. This record can follow you every time you apply for a job, make an offer on a home and register to vote.
Drug Use, Legal Consequences and Employment
The legal consequences of drug abuse can lead to difficulty obtaining a job. Many employers conduct background checks on potential employees to ensure that their new hires are free of legal issues and liabilities. If you have a drug crime conviction on your record, this could be a red flag for potential employers. Drug use can deeply affect job performance and employers may chose to hire someone else who is less likely to experience addiction symptoms.
Drug-Related Arrests and Jail Time
If you are caught using, dealing or intending to deal drugs, you may be arrested and could face jail time. The Center on Addiction reveals that 1.5 million inmates, “meet the DSM-IV medical criteria for substance abuse or addiction, and another 458,000, while not meeting the strict DSM-IV criteria, had histories of substance abuse; were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time of their crime; committed their offense to get money to buy drugs; were incarcerated for an alcohol or drug law violation; or shared some combination of these characteristics.”1
Time in jail takes you away from your family. It takes away your personal freedom and can impact your future opportunities.
While each state’s laws are different, possession of an illegal substance can often result in a large fine. These fines can add up to thousands of dollars. Even if you aren’t fined, legal fees alone can quickly put your finances in trouble.
Your Finances and Your Drug Use
Even before fines and court costs add up, drug use may put your finances in danger. Unpaid bills, mortgages and credit cards can lead to legal action against you. Lenders may need to repossess assets to pay the debt, or you may even need to file for bankruptcy.
Relationship Troubles and Drug Use
Drug use harms your relationships with loved. It may also physically harm them. The American Society of Addiction Medicine explains the close relationship between intimate partner violence and drug or alcohol use. They share that “Greater than 20% of male perpetrators report using alcohol and/or illicit drugs prior to the most recent and severe acts of violence.”2
This violence puts your health and safety at risk. It can also lead to arrests, jail time, fines and other legal action. You may find yourself facing divorce, custody battles and more as a consequence of drug use.
End the Legal Consequences of Drug Use
The best way to avoid or end drug-related legal consequences is to get professional addiction treatment. Prevent consequences, or learn ways to manage the consequences you’re already facing. Find recovery, and begin your better life.
By Alanna Hilbink, Contributing Writer
1 “New CASA Report Finds: 65% of All U.S. Inmates Meet Medical Criteria for Substance Abuse Addiction, Only 11% Receive Any Treatment.” CASAColumbia. 26 Feb. 2010.
2 Soper, Richard. “Intimate Partner Violence and Co-Occurring Substance Abuse/Addiction.” American Society of Addiction Medicine. 6 Oct. 2014.