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The overlap of drug charges and mental health

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Drug charges, including drug possession and trafficking, are serious accusations with potentially life-altering consequences. However, it’s crucial to understand that these charges can also be a cry for help—a manifestation of unresolved mental health troubles.

A bigger problem than a criminal offense

Having a mental health problem along with a substance abuse issue is called a dual diagnosis. According to some studies, about half of those with severe mental disorders also face substance abuse. And drug use can worsen mental health issues and vice versa. Unfortunately, too many people who struggle with mental health may turn to substances as a form of self-medication, which can spiral into criminal charges.

Treatment and self-help can lead to recovery, but it is hard to admit there is a problem. For some people, it takes an arrest and the possibility of incarceration for them to recognize this.

Key considerations for a balanced approach

Taking into account a person’s mental health when defending against criminal drug charges is essential.

For instance, having comprehensive legal representation allows an individual to focus on getting help while their attorney manages the complexity of defending against harsh charges and penalties. Integrating mental health needs into the defense strategy to address the root causes of substance use can be life-changing.

Further, Texas offers various programs that may combine treatment with legal resolution, such as drug courts or diversion programs. Discussing this with legal counsel can help people get the help they need and focus on preventing recidivism.

Empowering yourself and your loved ones

Confronting drug charges can be highly stressful for individuals and the people who love them, but it can be an opportunity to tackle deeper mental health issues as well. By approaching this intersection with compassion and a proactive mindset, those affected can chart a course toward healing and legal resolution.

If you or someone you care about is facing drug charges in Texas, remember that there are resources and professionals ready to assist. By seeking help that respects both legal rights and mental health needs, it can be easier for you to overcome this challenging time with dignity and hope.