Illinois, like the rest of the United States, is facing a major addiction crisis. At the heart of this crisis are people who are struggling with addiction on a day-to-day basis and family members that are affected by their loved one’s drug or alcohol addiction. Many people who suffer from a substance use disorder are denied or held back from the help that they need to break free from their addiction. This can seriously stunt a person’s ability to begin a new chapter of their life.
This is particularly the case if individuals have been convicted of a crime that was related to their substance use. Although there are many support groups and resources for those who suffer from addiction, society often takes a negative approach towards addicts, and the law, Judges, prosecutors, and police officers, often view addicts as criminals that should be locked up.
If you suffer from addiction, it is important that you get the help you need to start recovery and live a sober life. At Hirsch Law Group, we understand the difficulties faced by those suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, and we want to assure you that there are many different avenues available for you to get addiction treatment. Whether you need legal help for criminal charges or guidance towards treatment centers or support groups, we will offer help in any way we can.
Our law firm has been helping clients with drug charges for over 15 years and we have won many awards for our dedication to our clients. We want to help you focus on your addiction recovery and your family members while we help you with legal issues that you have.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 815-880-1134.
What is Drug and Alcohol Addiction?
Drug addiction, or substance use disorder, is defined as a chronic disease by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Medical Association. When a person becomes addicted to drugs, their brain functionality is affected and they can experience many behavioral changes. The same goes for alcohol addiction, or alcohol use disorder. When a person begins to feel intense cravings for drugs or alcohol and they are unable to control these cravings, they are likely suffering from drug or alcohol addiction.
There is no exact cause for drug and alcohol addiction and it may be caused by a number of different factors, including biological factors, environmental factors, and behavioral factors. It could be due to issues faced during your development phase as a child, such as an abusive home, peer pressure from those around you, or it could be a mental illness that led you to take drugs.
Many people struggling with addiction are made to feel ostracized from their communities and can often feel like criminals. However, the reality is that addiction is a disease that needs to be treated appropriately, through support groups, treatment centers, and peer support.
Symptoms of Substance Abuse
The symptoms of substance use disorders vary depending on the individual and the severity of their addiction. In some cases, people can maintain a normal life while battling drug addictions, however, in many cases, addiction begins to cause behavioral changes, family conflict, and difficulty maintaining relationships.
Because drug abuse affects a person’s brain functions, their decision-making abilities often become altered, causing them to make decisions contrary to their rational brain. For example, a person may choose to engage in crime in order to fund their addiction, steal from their family members, drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or show up late to work frequently. This lack of rationality can majorly impact your life, causing you to get in trouble with the law and damage relationships with family members.
Although substance addiction can often stem from mental health issues, continued use of drugs also increases the chances of suffering from a mental illness, such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar. The longer you continue to use a particular drug, the more difficult it can be to break free from the addiction, as the withdrawal symptoms can become quite severe.
Resources/ Support Groups For Drug Addiction
If you are suffering from a substance use disorder, it is important to know that there are many different resources and support groups available for you to receive the help that you need. You may feel overwhelmed at the moment and at a loss as to how you can overcome your addiction, however, rest assured that once you take the first step, everything becomes easier.
Addiction Recovery Programs
For many people suffering from addiction, going to a rehabilitation center or recovery program can be the option most likely to result in long-term sobriety. Whether it is a court-ordered rehabilitation program or a program that you go to by choice, these services can provide extensive care and treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Some types of treatment programs that may be available to you include:
- Outpatient programs – These programs provide day care for people struggling with addiction and can involve hospital visits, daily check-ins, addiction medicine, and more.
- Residential treatment – Residential treatment or rehab are care programs in which people can check themselves in for a certain period of time and receive addiction and recovery care.
- Therapeutic communities – These are drug and alcohol-free communities that provide care and peer support and allow individuals to recover from their addictions.
It is important to research what type of recovery program is best for you and suits your individual case. If you are attending court-ordered rehab, it is vital that you adhere to the conditions laid out by the Judge as failure to do so could result in harsh further sentencing.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is a U.S. government-led program that aims to reduce the impact of substance addiction on communities throughout the country. They offer access and information about a wide range of addiction treatment programs in your local area and SAMHSA’s National Helpline (1-800-662-HELP) provides 24/7 free, confidential assistance with mental health conditions and substance addiction.
Drug Addiction Support Groups
Support groups are typically used alongside or after addiction treatment. The aim of these groups is to provide extra assistance and support for those going through addiction and to help people take responsibility for their addiction. As there are many different people in a support group, it can provide a safe community where people can share their experiences and struggles.
There is a wide range of support groups for substance use issues, such as Narcotics Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, and SMART recovery. It is recommended that you research which option is best for your particular case. The SMART recovery support group helps individuals by changing how they feel and deal with their emotions. SMART recovery follows the four-step method, which includes:
- Managing urges
- Finding motivation and maintaining it
- Learning to control behavior, emotions, and feelings
- Finding a life balance
The idea of this group is to encourage members to change the behaviors that have caused them to become addicted to a substance.
Alcohol Addiction Support Groups
Like substance addiction, there are many different support groups for alcohol abuse problems that follow a similar purpose of trying to change people’s behavior and manage their urges. The most popular support groups in Illinois for alcohol abuse are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Al-Anon. These groups are usually free or low-cost and accessible to many people suffering from addiction to alcohol. Usually, the focus of these groups is a ’12-step’ sequential path to recovery for those with addiction problems or related behavioral health conditions.
Family Support Groups
If your family member is suffering from drug use issues, whether it is marijuana addiction, cocaine addiction, or addiction to prescription medicine, it is important that you have someone that you can talk to about how it is affecting you. Families affected by drug problems have a wide range of support groups and resources available to them to help manage their situation and share their stories.
Some examples of family support groups include Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, SMART Recovery Family & Friends, Families Anonymous, and Grief Recovery After Substance Passing (GRASP). These groups can provide peer support to families affected by drugs, help guide family members on how to help their loved one, and provide additional resources for families dealing with a loved one’s addiction.
Get Help For Your Addiction in Illinois!
If you are suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol and it is having a negative effect on your life, it is important to know that you are not alone and there are many resources available for you. Often, it can feel like the system is built against you, particularly if you have been involved with criminal law because of your addiction. Police officers, judges, and the court system do not provide much assistance to those dealing with addiction, and would rather punish people than get them the help they need.
However, there are many support groups and addiction treatment options available that can offer guidance, care, and support through your struggle and help you overcome your addiction. The team of lawyers at Hirsch Law Group has provided legal help and support to hundreds of clients battling addiction, and we can help prevent you from falling into the criminal justice system because of your addiction.
Our lawyers can defend any criminal charges brought against you for drug-related crimes, guide you toward support groups and treatment options available for you, and offer an open ear to any problems that you have. We understand how difficult it is to battle addiction and how it can negatively affect your life, and we want to help in any way that we can.