The War on Drugs

Stephanie Stout July 27, 2015

By Stephanie Stout of Stout Law Firm, LLC posted in Criminal Law on Monday, July 27, 2015.

It seems hardly a week goes by that I don't see something in the news about a celebrity dying of a drug overdose, and this week was no different. The sad news this week that Whitney Houston's daughter died after an extended time in the hospital was shocking for so many reasons, not the least of which was the eerie similarity to her mother's passing.

Having dealt with a number of drug cases, possession and distribution of all kinds, I have seen firsthand not only the destructive capacity of drug abuse and addiction, but also the need for more options for rehabilitation.

It always seems that we try to some kind of rehabilitation, but after a few relapses, courts seem to think that at some point we have to consider incarceration. I cannot count the number of times I have had clients ask me to try to get them some help. They recognize that they cannot tackle addiction alone.

Treatment courts seem to be the latest idea in dealing with substance abuse. These specialty courts appear to be taking an approach that actually works for many people, but they are not the only solution. Just as in education, we have to look for ideas and models that differentiate the needs of the individual, not the needs of the system.

I hope that as we, as a society, continue to explore the difficulties of substance abuse, that we are able to continue to offer alternatives to incarceration and truly reach out to those in need, possibly even before they reach the criminal justice system.