Drug addiction is a complex condition that few individuals truly understand. This had led to the posing of many different theories that seek to explain the nature of addiction, and why an individual whose life has quite obviously been destroyed by drug use would yet decide to continue using these substances.
The Truth About Drug Addiction
Individuals who have themselves never experienced drug addiction may assume that an addict either suffers from a lack of willpower or is deliberately choosing to destroy their life through drug use. It is certainly hard to understand why an individual is continuing on a path that is causing nothing but problems for their health, relationships and life. But the truth is that the drug-addicted individual himself is also often wondering this exact same thing. Drug abuse and addiction can sneak up on the individual so slowly and gradually that he may find himself stuck in the trap of addiction before he even realizes he has fallen that far into his drug use habits.
While initial drug use is always an individual’s choice, drug addiction is entirely out of the individual’s control. Addiction occurs when the individual’s drug use has been constant and regular enough that his body has grown to depend upon these chemical substances in order to function normally. He is compelled to continue using these substances or suffer uncomfortable and sometimes even painful withdrawal symptoms.
Drug addiction can serve to destroy an individual’s self-esteem, self-respect and self-confidence, largely because they come to believe that they are completely unable to control, direct or change their own life. This may be the reason that many drug addicts feel hopeless about the possibility of full and lasting recovery, and therefore fail to pursue it. The next question, then, is how far should family members, friends, coworkers, employers or even law enforcement officials go in order to get someone into rehab?
Threatening Jail Time
It is certainly true that a drug-addicted individual who is refusing to enroll in rehabilitation treatment services is harming not only himself, but indeed others around him as well. Whatever the specific reason, it’s quite clear that the damaging effects of drug use alone is insufficient to drive him to get the treatment that he actually needs. However, this does not mean that there is absolutely no impetus that can drive the individual to participate in rehab, or that rehab will not benefit him.
It is generally understood that incarceration serves to remove an individual from society when he poses a significant threat to self and others. There is no denying that an individual who is addicted to drug substances is a threat to self and others, but the real question is whether jail time will serve to help them overcome this problem. The obvious answer is no, since there is a marked difference between jail time and rehabilitation treatment. That said, there may still be some value in using the threat of jail time to drive an individual into participating in rehabilitation treatment. When presented with the choice between jail time and rehabilitation treatment, many individuals may choose the latter, and while this may not be the ideal, fully self-determined choice to enroll in treatment that one desires, it can yet place the individual onto the path to recovery. The initial desire to avoid jail time may give the individual just enough reason to pursue their recovery until they come up with a much better reason: to live a healthier, happier and more productive life.