Drug and Alcohol - Treatment Professional

Can I Choose Rehab Instead of Jail or Prison?

Can I Choose Rehab Instead of Jail or Prison?

Choosing to go to drug rehab instead of jail sounds like an obvious choice. Our blog outlines why drug rehab instead of jail is a far better choice.

It's an awful moment and one which can play out a hundred different ways.

Maybe it's sitting on a curb at night with your hands behind your back, listening to the police discuss your fate a few feet away. Or maybe it's waking up in a holding tank with no idea how you got there. However it happens, it's always bad.

One of the unfortunate symptoms of substance abuse is running into legal trouble. This legal trouble ranges from merely being under the influence of substances in public to more serious crimes involving manufacturing and distribution. Individuals have to explain their drug use and how it impacted their lives during these situations, often in front of a judge.

This then begs the question: Could I go to drug rehab instead of jail?

Why Substance Abuse Often Ends with a Jail Stay ... Or Worse

One of the many ways drug and alcohol abuse harms people is by placing them in legal jeopardy. There are many reasons for this, but the chief one is public safety.

One of the best examples is driving under the influence (DUI) laws. Alcohol, drugs, and even over-the-counter medications can seriously hamper a person's ability to drive a car. Someone under the influence of any substance which affects their reflexes or judgment isn't just a danger to themselves, they're a serious hazard to everyone else on the road. Drugged driving is an increasingly serious problem as well.

Here's another example: If you've ever been to a party destination in a major city, you've likely seen it for yourself. Many people who drink alcohol excessively can become rowdy, unpredictable, and violent. Drunken brawls often occur during street fairs, sporting events, festivals, and other places where there's a lot of alcohol being consumed at once.

As for illicit drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl, there is often a tremendous amount of violence around their manufacture, sale, and use. Many illicit street drugs are also lethal: fentanyl, the potent opioid painkiller, often contaminates drug stashes. This leads to the skyrocketing rate of fatal overdoses seen each year in the US. In fact, in 2021 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported drug overdose deaths topped 100,000 annually for the first time in US history.

Although there's plenty of room to debate about their effectiveness and how fairly they're applied, drug laws are by and large created to protect the public's safety. In some jurisdictions, violating these laws can lead to jail, or worse, prison.

What's the Difference Between Jail and Prison?

Jail and prison are terms often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different types of facilities. Jails are usually run by local governments, while state or federal governments run prisons.

Jails are temporary holding facilities for people who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or sentencing. Prisons are long-term facilities for people who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to a term of incarceration.

People in jail are typically only held for a few days or weeks, while people in prison are typically held for months or years. Jail sentences are usually much shorter than prison sentences.

There are some key differences between jails and prisons in terms of the type of inmates they house, the level of security, and the range of services offered.

Jails typically house people who have been arrested for minor crimes or are awaiting trial. The average stay in jail is 30 days or less. Jails are usually less secure than prisons, with fewer guards and fewer rules.

Prisoners are typically people who have been convicted of serious crimes and sentenced to a term of incarceration. The average stay in prison is 18 months or more. Prisons are usually more secure than jails, with more guards and more rules.

In terms of services, prisons typically offer inmates educational and vocational programs, substance abuse treatment, and other ways for inmates to improve their lives. Unfortunately, many of these programs, however well-intentioned, are nowhere near as good as those in the free world.

Many people have made better lives for themselves after doing time. However, both jails and prisons are often violent, and it's easy to have years added to one's sentence because they got into trouble behind the walls. Prisons and jails are great places to stay out of, which is why choosing rehab instead of jail is always the best decision.

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Why Rehab Instead of Jail Is an Obvious Choice

This sounds like an obvious question to most people. Jails and prisons are both known for being extremely violent and dangerous places. Also, as we mentioned above, while some institutions offer drug rehab programs, they're often underfunded and less effective than drug rehabs in the real world.

The issue is especially serious when it comes to drug laws. Many people are forced to serve time in jail or prison for violations of drug laws - even if they have no prior criminal record and their offense was relatively minor.

It's important to note that drug rehab instead of jail can be a much more effective solution for many people who are facing drug-related charges. Drug rehabs usually offer comprehensive programs that include counseling, support groups, and other services to help people manage their addiction and make healthy lifestyle changes.

In many cases, the goal of rehab is not just to get someone off drugs - it's also about helping them become productive members of society. As mentioned above, drug rehabs usually offer educational and vocational programs - allowing people to gain skills that can help them find employment after rehab.

Drug rehab is also often a much less expensive option, which is why rehab instead of jail is a wise choice. Yes, while many drug rehabs can be somewhat costly, the cost of lawyer fees, fines, restitution payments, and a lifetime spent under the stigma of a felony charge is often far more expensive.

Ultimately, rehab instead of jail is obviously a better choice for drug offenders - as it helps them get the treatment they need while avoiding some of the negative consequences of incarceration.

In conclusion, rehab instead of jail is a much better option for people facing drug-related charges. Not only does rehab provide treatment and support that can help people manage their addiction and make positive lifestyle changes, but it's also often less expensive than jail or prison time. If you or someone you know is facing drug-related charges, consider rehab as a better alternative to jail or prison. Not only could rehab help you get your life back on track, but it can also save you time and money in the long run.

So, Can I Choose Rehab Instead of Jail?

The short answer is yes. In many cases, rehab can be used as an alternative to jail time. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest and the laws in your state or local jurisdiction, rehab might be a viable option for you if you're arrested for drug-related offenses.

Take California as an example. In 2014, the state passed Proposition 47, which reclassified drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. Felonies by and large are more serious crimes, often with violent acts attached to them. However, that's not to say misdemeanors aren't serious; many misdemeanor crimes can put a person in jail for up to a year.

Court-ordered rehab is an increasingly popular option in many jurisdictions across the US. If you're facing possession charges, rehab might be an option for you instead of jail time. This could mean attending rehab classes and regular drug tests while maintaining full-time employment as court-ordered conditions.

There can be some serious advantages to attending rehab, too.

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Drug Court: Why Some Judges Prefer Sending People to Rehab Instead of Jail

Although it depends on the jurisdiction (and the judge), enrolling in a drug rehab program can make all the difference in the world. Judges like seeing people who make honest attempts to turn their lives around, and the judge may decide to keep you in rehab instead of jail.

Also, many jurisdictions are making use of drug courts. Drug court is a specialized program that considers a person's history of drug dependency. A judge handling drug court might decide to place an offender in rehab instead of jail if they feel the defendant is a good candidate for rehab.

While rehab can often be used as an effective alternative to incarceration, it's important to remember that rehab isn't a free pass. A drug court judge might sentence you to rehab only if they are sure you will continue with your rehab and comply with the court-ordered conditions.

Going to Rehab Instead of Jail: Choosing a Drug Rehab

When it comes to rehab, there are a few different options to consider. Many rehab programs offer comprehensive, long-term treatment plans that may involve inpatient or outpatient care. There are also short-term rehabs available as well. Ultimately, you'll need to speak with an attorney or rehab counselor to determine which option is best for you.

If choosing a drug rehab is left up to you, there are several things you should keep in mind. First, look for rehabs that are accredited by a reputable organization. This will ensure that the rehab program has met certain standards of quality and is providing you with the best possible care. Secondly, make sure you understand exactly what services the rehab offers and how long they'll last. Lastly, be sure to ask plenty of questions so that you can get a better idea of what to expect while attending rehab.

Most people entering drug rehab care will go through drug detox if they haven't detoxed already. While it's possible to detox from drugs and alcohol in jail, the program is unlikely to be as good, safe, or as comfortable as detoxing from drugs in the free world. Drug detox can be uncomfortable, and in some cases, medically risky. Some substances, such as opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol can cause serious medical complications during drug detox. If you have the opportunity to detox from drugs before your court case, it's a good idea to do so.

Drug rehabs come in inpatient and outpatient forms. Inpatient drug rehabs offer an intensive, 24/7 care schedule that's great for severe addiction. At an inpatient drug rehab, you will be given the support and structure you need to get clean. An outpatient drug rehab, on the other hand, offers more flexibility and is great for those who don't want to take a break from their normal lives. Outpatient rehabs usually allow you to work or go to school while still attending rehab sessions.

Regardless of which rehab option you choose, it's important that you take full advantage of all the services offered by the rehab program. Drug rehabs offer behavioral therapy, counseling, 12-step meetings, and other activities to help you stay clean.

It's also important that you learn about drug laws in your state so that you can understand what will happen if you are charged with a drug crime. Knowing the penalties and potential sentences for drug crimes can help you make smarter decisions when it comes to rehab instead of jail.

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Rehab Instead of Jail: Making the Most of Rehab

If you choose a drug rehab, there are a few things you can do to maximize your chances of success. First, stay committed to your rehab program. It's not easy, but rehab is worth it if you want to

Rehab instead of jail is an increasingly popular option for people facing drug-related charges. While rehab can provide individuals with the treatment and support they need to get their lives back on track, it's also often a much less expensive option than jail or prison time. If you

It's important to remember that rehab isn't a guarantee of freedom - you may still face jail time if you're convicted of drug-related charges. But, rehab can be an effective alternative to prison and can help you get the treatment and support you need while avoiding some of the harsher punishments associated with jail or prison time.

Choose Rehab Instead of Jail with The Edge Treatment Center

The Edge Treatment Center believes it's never too late to start over. At our drug rehab, we've watched countless people build healthy, happy lives free from drug and alcohol addiction. We'll be your partners through the entire recovery journey, from drug and alcohol detox to our robust outpatient program.

The best time to turn your life around is right now. Don't take a chance on getting into serious legal trouble. Find freedom from addiction by contacting us today!

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

Treatment Professional

November 18, 2022