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Drug treatment courts are here to help those with addictions

It has long been understood that simple imprisonment does little to change a person's ways. While prison can be a deterrent for some, the reality is that things like addictions cause individuals to make poor decisions that result in imprisonment. Even if they would normally avoid doing dangerous things, addiction might push them to take part in criminal acts.

There are better ways to treat addiction than to put a person in prison or jail. Jails and prison are perfectly suited to those who might hurt others or continue to take part in criminal acts, but without treatment, those who are addicted are likely to be compelled by the addiction upon release.

A simple drug crime can become a major problem

When you decided to use drugs, it was a personal decision. Over time, you used here and there, but it was never the type of addiction that you'd hear about.

You were traveling to a friend's home when you were stopped by police, and you didn't notice that a baggie of your preferred substance was noticeable on the floor in front of the back seat.

People with drug addictions need help and guidance

Many people in the United States find themselves struggling with drug addiction. Sadly, the majority of these people did not start out looking to get high. They took medications prescribed to them, and over time, they found they could not stop using them.

Drug abuse is a problem in the U.S. As of 2017, around 38% of those struggling with abuse were battling with illicit drug use disorders. Approximately one out of eight adults struggle with alcohol and drug use at the same time.

Prescription drug addiction requires medical care

Many people take prescription medications. It's normal to be on a prescription medication after a surgery, when suffering from infections and when sick. Doctors weigh the benefits of antibiotics, pain medications, anxiety or depression drugs, and others to make sure that they're the best choice for the patient at that time.

When a doctor sees a patient with an injury, for example, they may determine that treating the patient with opiate medications as well as muscle relaxants is necessary. However, if the patient takes these medications over a long period of time, there is a risk that they could become dependent on them. A physical or mental dependency is hard to break, because patients think they need a medication and the body reacts poorly when it doesn't get it.

Virginia law enforcement still treats addiction like a crime

Addiction is a serious, sometimes life-threatening, condition that can impact people of all ages, races, genders and backgrounds. Genetics and upbringing can make a person more susceptible to addiction, but anyone who requires medical care and pain relief could wind up struggling with addiction.

Addiction to narcotic painkillers and heroin in the United States is currently at an epidemic level. People are struggling with addiction and dying from it every day across the country, including here in Virginia. Unfortunately, the government response to the addiction crisis has potentially made issues worse.

Is sharing prescription medications against the law?

One thing you should be aware of as someone who is accused of a drug crime is that it is possible to be held accountable for sharing prescription medications, even if you didn't sell them or intend it as a crime. Prescription medications require a prescription for a reason. They can be dangerous, and they have interactions, in some cases. For that reason, no one should use prescription medications without a doctor's approval.

Why is it against the law to share prescriptions?

Is a misdemeanor a big deal for those accused?

Misdemeanors aren't always a big deal in your daily life, and you could even get one for petty offenses like trespassing or loitering. While they're not particularly serious crimes, there is a risk that you could be found guilty and face penalties that affect you now and in the future.

With around 10 million misdemeanors filed each year, there is no surprise that people struggle with these on their records. These are small offenses, yet they impact millions each year.

Expungement is a difficult task in Virginia, and here's why

Virginia is very hard on drunk driving, making it nearly impossible to eliminate the charge from your record once you have a conviction. Did you know that it's not possible to get an expungement in Virginia unless you get a full pardon? Yes, it's the reality for many people that the conviction will never be gone.

One thing to keep in mind is that you could have your record sealed if you only are arrested or charged for a DUI. In that case, there is a time frame set. Once it passes, you can apply to have the record sealed, helping you eliminate the charge from the public eye.

Understanding aiding and abetting

Aiding and abetting is a charge used when a person is accused of helping another person commit a crime in some way. Usually, the person charged with this will not have been at the scene of the criminal act when it took place. Instead, it will be a person who had knowledge that the crime was going to take place beforehand or someone who finds out about it and helps conceal it.

Here's a good example of aiding and abetting. If a woman knows that her friend wants to rob the store where she works, she may "accidentally" forget to lock the cash register or leave the back door open. She won't be there at the time of the robbery, and it will look as if she simply made a mistake. However, if it's discovered that she is linked to the person who stole from the store, she could be charged as an accessory.

Understanding the risk of Flakka

Flakka is a drug that hit the news in 2016 because of a strange killing Florida where a man tried to eat the face of a victim. Allegedly, Flakka caused the side effects that made the 19-year-old man try to eat the victim's face, a danger others face when using the drug.

Flakka is also called gravel. It causes bizarre behavior, paranoia, delusions and agitation. The drug is a new generation of bath salts, also psychoactive drugs. Flakka's chemical name, alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP), was technically not illegal at first, since it was a new drug that did not fall under previous laws. Today, that's not the case.


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