Many drug addicts in search of help find themselves literally between a rock and a hard place. They know they need to get treatment at a rehab center, but they fear that the legal issues intertwined with their narcotics use will cause them to be taken out of a program and sent to prison. In fact a main cause of patients being discharged from private rehab centers “against medical advice” is such legal issues.
This has created an instability among rehab patients and drug addicts who fear committing to a long term treatment program precisely because of their often very legitimate fears of later legal repercussions. The good news is that Florida was the first state to adopt a more enlightened approach to legal issues for people seeking help with their addictions. In this article we look at the pioneering stance Florida has taken and the legal help that is available for those taking proactive steps to quit their debilitating alcohol and drug addictions.
The Correlation Between Alcohol/Drug Addiction And Crime Is Well Documented
It is a national shaming statistic that alcohol and drugs are a part of 80 percent of crimes in the United States today. The breakdown of crimes involving alcohol and drugs is as follows:
- 83 percent of property crimes
- 78 percent of violent crimes
- 77 percent of immigration, weapons offenses, and parole violations
The state and city government bodies have been trying to come up with better alternatives to jailing people committing crimes through alcohol and drugs for decades now. Florida took it to the national level when they set up the nation’s very first drug court in 1989 down in Miami-Dade County. Today’s Florida is still on the cutting edge of alternative answers to the challenges posed by alcohol and drug addictions. Pam Bondi the Florida Attorney General actually sued five of the biggest national makers and distributors of opioids under the argument that they had by themselves created the opioid crisis epidemic. Florida heard the voice of private rehab and outpatient treatment centers who complained about the struggle to keep patients in the programs because of their fear of legal issues. Their recovering addicts who were facing legal problems simply felt that they could not effectively get help and treatment.
Those who did attend rehab programs were nervous and fretful about their upcoming jail sentences instead of concentrating on the important central issue of recovering from alcohol and drugs. The Result Was Publicly Funded Drug CourtsIt was a first step to attack the problem when Florida led the other states in establishing publicly funded drug courts. By 2018, the Sunshine State’s lead had been followed by all other 49 states. In these courts, prosecutors, police, and judges cooperate with attorneys along with treatment center specialists in order to assist those addicts who want to get help and are facing criminal charges.
They offer this in lieu of the alternatives of criminal charges and jail sentences. The state-led model takes alcohol and drug addicts out of the criminal system and insists that they instead finish group counseling (if possible alongside rehab programs) and go through mandatory drug testing. These drug courts proved to offer more helpful outcomes for individuals who suffered from addiction-related criminal issues instead of typical criminal prosecution. The statistics back up the efficacy of this approach too. For year 2016, Florida counted 6,590 admissions into its drug court program.
Almost 60 percent of the people who started the program graduated from it. On a national level, 75 percent of all drug court graduates do not get arrested again. This compares favorably to only 30 percent released from jail who avoid future arrests. Drug courts have been proven to decrease crime statistics by a solid 45 percent versus typical sentencing. Cost savings are substantial too. The price to use drug courts instead of a state prison saves an average of $13,000 per individual. Florida saved $85.7 million for these efforts in year 2016 alone.
Private Court Liaison Programs Generate Even Better Legal Results
A far more holistic approach to helping addicts struggling to recover with their legal woes is the private court liaison program. This involves recovering addicts going to private treatment programs. The problem here has traditionally been that the addicts might succeed in the treatment program only to have their progress derailed by pending legal issues that catch up with them either while they are in treatment or after they have gone back to everyday life. Florida private rehab programs and centers discovered the effective solution to be offering their patients real and valuable legal assistance. In this method, the center helps the patients to concentrate their efforts entirely on getting better. Meanwhile, a licensed lawyer will handle getting their legal issues resolved on their behalf. Some of the centers have worked out Court Liaison Program arrangements on behalf of their patients. It allows them to go to the treatment center even when they have legal restrictions that are pending.
While these options are not offered in all Florida private treatment centers, if they would assist you in your own personal situation, you should be sure to look into a program that does offer them. In programs that provide the option, they find an average of 50 percent of the patients avail themselves to the program during their recovery. These participation rates definitely suggest that the programs are both of great value as well as in significant demand. One problem centers around the cost of private rehab center treatment. It can be a real entry barrier to those addicts who hail from lower income backgrounds. At the moment, such court liaison programs in treatment programs are offered to patients who enjoy either private insurance or who are able to cover the costs for the centers from their own pockets or those of their family.
For those who can afford it, the supervising attorney of the Court Liaison Program at the rehab center will assist clients in getting admitted for treatment while identifying their legal issues he can work on, all while the admissions process is ongoing. It is through treating addictions of patients while providing them with the legal support which they desperately need that centers offer an effective and holistic approach that deals with reality on the ground today. If you feel ready to talk with someone who can help you now, call us at 877-497-6180 . Our caring counselors are here 24 hours each day, waiting on your call.