I’m in my 24th year as a criminal defense attorney and, like all other members of the criminal defense bar, deal with families of clients who have the terrible disease of addiction. Unfortunately, for most of my career, the “system” has not been equipped to deal with this disease and how it effects society and ultimately leads to the addict becoming entangled in the criminal justice system.
The general public has to come to terms with the fact that the “system” just isn’t equipped to resolve these issues. The old method was (and in a lot of cases and with a lot of judges and prosecutors) and still is to just throw them in jail to “dry them out”. The problem with this approach, as has been shown time and time again, is that it just doesn’t work. Plain and simple. It does nothing. It has no deterrent effect whatsoever. So what is the answer? That is a difficult question with no simple solution. Thankfully, law enforcement, the judiciary and the prosecution are all becoming educated about addiction. Admittedly, it is a very difficult disease to understand. And make no mistake, it is a disease.
One of the most helpless situations a family can be in is when one of their loved ones is suffering from addiction. What do you do? What can you do? Until recently, there wasn’t much you can do and it still isn’t easy, but at least now there is a law that allows a family or friend to try and get the addict help. One that has some teeth to it. It is known as Casey’s Law. Here is the link to a website that can help you understand the law and the procedure to seek help through it.
Please take a moment to take a look at it if you are in a situation like this. There is help.