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Law Offices of Matthew C. Bishop, Inc.
Serving Napa, Marin and Solano Counties

Should you go to jail for abusing prescription drugs?

More than likely, it started innocently enough. You suffered an injury or illness for which your doctor prescribed you a medication that could be addictive. You took it as directed, but even after your issue resolved, you continued to take the medication. Even though you may have realized that you were on a downward spiral, you couldn't stop.

Then, something happened, and you came into contact with law enforcement officers. Perhaps an officer stopped you for weaving in traffic, suspected you of being impaired and placed you under arrest on suspicion of prescription drug charges. This raises the question of whether you should incur criminal penalties instead of getting the help you need for an addiction.

Treatment can work

Research shows that providing the appropriate treatment to someone addicted to prescription medications does work. If possible, you may benefit from one or more of the following treatments:

  • Counseling
  • Detoxification
  • Medications

An evaluation may determine what combination of treatment will help you beat your addiction and get your life back.

The benefits of behavioral treatment

Behavioral treatments can help you identify the root cause of your addiction and retrain your brain to eliminate unhealthy thought patterns. You can learn to identify situations and other cues that cause you to want to relapse. You can learn to manage the cravings as well. You may have other incentives to stay clean, such as your spouse and children.

You may also partake in counseling sessions by yourself, with a group or with your family members. Improving connections to family and friends can help prevent relapse and facilitate your recovery. Certain medications may assist in your recovery.

The criminal charges

Even if your goal involves getting treatment to break your addiction, you still need to deal with the criminal charges. You need someone to advocate on your behalf so that you are not simply caught up in the criminal justice system. More than likely, the last thing you need is to spend time in jail. A criminal defense attorney can step in between you and prosecutors. He or she will work on your behalf for the best outcome possible, which in your case may be treatment.

If this is the case, negotiating with prosecutors could allow you to ultimately keep your record clean. Everyone makes mistakes, and an addiction to prescription drugs may be yours. You should not necessarily have to pay for that error in judgment with your freedom.

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Law Offices of
Matthew C. Bishop, Inc.

1810 Jefferson Street
Napa, CA 94559
Phone: 707-266-6952
Fax: 707-255-3612
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