Saturday, August 25, 2007

treatment and consequences!

As most people know, my job revolves around the criminal justice system and alcohol and substance abuse. Basically, if someone has broken the law and their addiction was a factor in that case, I do an assessment and if appropriate make a recommendation for treatment. Sometimes it is people doing outpatient treatment and then maybe getting probation or electronic monitoring. Sometimes it is people getting released from jail right into an drug rehab program, usually a 28 day stint. Sometimes it involves someone doing a long term inpatient and then getting involved in a intensive program like drug court.

It all really depends...on so many different things. It depends on their level of addiction and how severely it has impacted their lives. It depends on their criminal history and their likelihood to re-offend. It depends on their motivation for recovery, etc. There are so many different factors and treatment options. The one thing I have learned is that there isn't a cookie cutter way of doing this. Each person's treatment recommendation and plan looks different because what might work for person A is not the same thing that would work for person B.

I was talking to some people at work on Friday about the Lindsey Lohan nightmare and her plea deal. I don't wish bad things for her...really, I don't. But, I am saddened to see that she really isn't getting any consequences for her actions. I am glad she is in drug rehab again, but I am not sure if that will be enough for her. I mean, she got charged with SEVEN misdemeanor charges (and could have been charged with 2 felonies as well). She got charged with all that and she ends up with a plea deal including ONE day in jail, 10 days community service and completing a drug treatment program. I am happy she is being forced to complete treatment, but I also think she is being shielded from the consequences of her actions. I know if Joe Shmoe off the streets got arrested with her charges, he wouldn't be walking out with a deal like that. And, I also know that if people don't face the makes recovery SO much harder. The excuses become easier. There is a reason why people usually have to hit rock bottom. Rock bottom gives you that extra shot of motivation to actually make recovery work.

Anyways, enough complaining about Lindsey. I think her court deal is unfair, but I also worry that this isn't the last we will see of her legal and addiction problems. I hope her family and people around her wake up and really do something to help her. My advice to anyone out there who knows someone suffering from addiction: Get them help and don't hide the consequences from them. It may seem mean, but in the long run it's probably the kindest thing you can do.

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