Substance Abuse Addictions

Lawyers who are consistently successful in court are the ones who have a good understanding of substance abuse and addiction. Many defendants have substance abuse issues, and without a solid familiarity with the critical issues, the attorney will be at a disadvantage.

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Drug and Alcohol Addiction and Abuse

It is now well over one hundred years since drugs were first banned. We have been told by therapists, the government, and teachers what addiction is and how it happens. One prevailing theory is it is merely a lack of willpower, and the other theory is that addiction is a disease that needs to be treated like any other disease with medical intervention. A new theory is being floated out there that says that the environment is the cause of addiction. Few defense lawyers have the experience and expertise to help clients with addictions who face criminal charges.

Environment and addiction

In the 1970s, Professor Bruce Alexander, a professor of psychology in Vancouver, BC, experimented with rats. He put a rat alone in a cage with two water bottles – one just water, the other water laced with cocaine. The rat focused on the cocaine water until it was obsessed, and it eventually killed it. Then Alexander put a single rat together in a more social setting, with things to play with, good food, and plenty of other rats. When given the option of the two water bottles…..the cocaine water bottle was almost shunned. The rats with good lives did not like the drugged water.

Is this exclusive to rats? Johann Hart, the author of ‘Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs,’ found the human equivalent of the “rat experiment” with returning veterans of the Vietnam War. While in Vietnam, it was determined that almost 20% of U.S. troops were addicted to heroin. When these soldiers returned home after the war, approximately 95% stopped using heroin, and very few needed rehabilitation. It was the shift from the terrifying “cage” of Vietnam back to a pleasant one of home, and they did not want to use the drug anymore.

This way of looking at addiction results in the theory that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is a human connection.

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Addiction Treatment for Those Facing Criminal Charges

This new theory advocates that treating drug addicts should be done by attempting to reconnect them with the world, and they will leave their addictions behind.

About 15 years ago, this was put into practice in Portugal. At that time, it was determined that nearly 1% of the entire population of Portugal was addicted to heroin. Portugal decriminalized all drugs and transferred the money that used to be spent on enforcement to reconnect the drug users to broader society. The essential first step was to find them secure housing and subsidized jobs so they would have a purpose in life and something to get out of bed for. The statistics were that with total decriminalization, drug use was down 50%.

These new thoughts are founded on the fact that humans bond with animals. We need to connect and love. Today’s environment and culture have cut off that connection. The rise of addiction is a symptom of that loss of connection. We continually look towards the next big thing rather than the human connection.

Facing Addiction and Criminal Charges?

There are many theories about what are the causes of addiction and how it can be dealt with. If you believe that you have an addiction problem, it is vital that you immediately start the process of dealing with it. That may require therapy or medical intervention. Whatever it takes – it is essential to do it as soon as possible. If you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor, you should have a defense attorney familiar with drug, alcohol, and other addictions. An attorney with knowledge of addiction science and other mental health-related issues, such as the lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., can not only empathize with your situation but will educate the judge and prosecutor to persuade them to focus on rehabilitation, rather than punishment. Examples of crimes that often relate to addiction issues include:

  • drug offenses such as possession, use, and trafficking,
  • alcohol-related offenses such as OWI and public intoxication,
  • domestic violence and misdemeanor assault,
  • malicious destruction of property, and
  • theft and gambling offenses.

A top Michigan criminal defense lawyer can advise you on what steps to take immediately to help yourself and your situation. With a proactive strategy, you might be able to avoid a conviction, jail, and other consequences.

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Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyers – Experienced with Addiction and Criminal Charges

LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has been in the business of helping people charged with criminal offenses for decades. Our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and tenacity to give our clients the first-rate defense they deserve. We will always go the extra mile to protect our client’s rights, and prosecutors do their job ethically and fairly. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. also has connections with the therapeutic community to get any help that might be needed for our clients. The defense lawyers at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are the premier Michigan criminal defense attorneys with experience helping clients with addiction issues and criminal charges. We are aggressive, compassionate, and not afraid to win!

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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