Being addicted does not work toward an addict’s benefit in anyway. Addiction damages lives universally, and never affects them positively. Not all addicts feel the consequences of their actions through the legal system, but these are certainly the lucky ones. An addict can easily wind up in trouble with the law if they become so consumed by their addiction that they check out of obligatory adult responsibilities. They may be sentenced to jail time or required to complete an addiction recovery facility program. Some of the ways a person can end up in trouble with the law through their addiction are as follows:
- Substance restrictions. If a person is addicted to using illegal substances, such as cocaine or heroine, they obviously can face legal consequences for possession of the illegal narcotics. In some jurisdictions, there are also legal penalties for being found to be in possession of prescription medications illegally. Legal penalties may range from misdemeanor financial charges to extended jail time.
- Substance abuse. Abusing a substance illegally, such as becoming intoxicated and operating a vehicle, can be a way that illegality enters addiction. Most addicts use the substance they are addicted to inappropriately, but those who become truly reckless use it in a way that is breaking the law. The penalties can have serious consequences on the addict’s life. In the case of driving under the influence, manslaughter can easily occur and sentence the addict to years in prison.
- Most jurisdictions have gambling laws, and many of them place restrictions on where, when, with how much and how often people can gamble. Gambling in person is required to be done in designated gambling locations, such as in casinos, which stay open during set hours. Gambling online has different restrictions on it, which limit the amount and the frequency with which one can gamble. Some jurisdictions even forbid gambling online. For compulsive gamblers, this can present a serious problem.
- Sex solicitation laws are another legal area that addicts often get themselves in trouble over. There are only a small number of jurisdictions in the United States and Canada that permit legal prostitution. Everywhere else, sex is sold on the black market. Frequently, raids or undercover jobs reveal people who are paying for sex, who are then held accountable to the law.