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How does substance abuse disorder affect drug-related crimes?

Often, those who face drug-related charges may have a substance abuse disorder. Substance abuse disorders are mental health conditions, ranging from mild to severe, where people have an overpowering desire to use an illicit substance. Those with SUD may experience withdrawal symptoms when not using the substance or experience an increased tolerance to the drug.

Seeking help for substance abuse disorder may reduce the risk of future incidents involving drug-related crime.

How substance abuse disorder leads to criminal activity

SUD or drug addiction hijacks your impulse control. When you have an addiction, you may find it difficult to ignore the desire to take substances. The risk of painful withdrawal and the reward of using illicit substances can make you act out of character or ignore your better judgment to engage in drug-seeking behavior. Often, people with substance abuse disorder find it challenging to fulfill other responsibilities in their lives, such as work or school. They may use substances regardless of the risk to their health.

How to avoid future charges

When you take control of your substance abuse disorder, the court may have more sympathy for your situation. Illicit drugs can change your brain chemistry, causing you to seek the surge of dopamine that they offer. However, effective treatment, including detoxification, cognitive and behavioral therapy and medication-assisted therapy can help you fight addiction and choose healthy habits over drug-related behavior.

Attending rehabilitation programs can help you pick up the tools necessary to fight against your impulses and gain a system of support.