Understanding Decriminalization

Decriminalization is a term used to describe the process of making drugs like cannabis less likely to cause a person to go to jail or face fines for using them. Yet, no component of decriminalization implies these drugs are safe to use. Also, a person who uses these decriminalized drugs is more likely to be arrested, spend time in prison, or have a criminal record due to their actions. That’s important for those who have a substance use disorder to remember. At Alina Lodge, our goal is to help you overcome your addiction comprehensively, so you don’t battle legal problems that result from drug use.

What Is Decriminalization?

There’s a lot of confusion about decriminalization, as well as the legalization of drugs like cannabis. Some states have made it legal for people to use cannabis for recreational use. Others have approved its use for medical needs. Still, others ban its use completely. Decriminalization means that the state amended its laws to make some acts criminal, but they are no longer subject to prosecution.

What does that mean for you? It means that having a small amount of cannabis on you is treated like having a minor traffic accident in some states. However, if you have a large amount of the drug on hand, the case is treated more like a car accident that you caused that led to someone else’s loss. In other words, it means that you may be criminally charged.

Why Does Decriminalization Matter?

People use drugs for various reasons. No matter what those reasons are, a substance use disorder can occur. When it does, addiction and dependence can leave a person trapped and unable to stop using. When this happens, they need support and guidance to overcome their addiction. They do not get this type of help when they enter the prison system or face criminal charges. They simply receive no care for the underlying problem, which is a substance use disorder.

When we decriminalize these drugs, it becomes possible to still hold a person accountable for their actions if they cause damage or injury to another person. However, it also means that they can get addiction treatment instead of going to prison. It is that type of treatment that makes the difference and, in the long term, prevents them from engaging in the same type of behavior again.

Keep in mind that:

  • State and federal laws differ. Some people may be charged with use due to federal laws.
  • If you’re using a drug like this and hurt another person as a result of a lack of skill or understanding, you’re still responsible for those losses.
  • Addiction requires professional help. Even if it is legal, these drugs are still dangerous.
  • Even drugs like cannabis, which seems to be safe to use, can cause addiction.

Decriminalization is rapidly changing throughout the country. Stay up to date on local laws.

What if You Are Ready for Addiction Treatment?

No matter where you stand in terms of decriminalization, if you are using drugs now and cannot stop, it’s time to reach out for help from Alina Lodge. Our behavioral health treatment programs are designed to address your specific and unique needs. They can give you the support you need to gain better control over your future, too. Learn more about our treatment options, including:

  • Residential treatment program
  • Long-term treatment program
  • Men’s rehab program
  • Women’s rehab program
  • Dual diagnosis treatment program

Are You Ready to Get Help? Turn to Alina Lodge Today

Decriminalization may be sweeping across the country, but it does not mean addiction treatment isn’t necessary. Rather than focus on the politics of the process, let’s work on giving you the tools you need to heal. To learn more about overcoming your substance use disorder, reach out to Alina Lodge by calling 833.685.1700 or connecting with us online.

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