How Drug Rehab Provides A Path To Recovery

Possession and dealing in illicit drugs are often considered legal offences in most parts of the world. If caught, a person could end up being arrested, prosecuted and punished. In some instances, there is the option to undergo drug rehabilitation. Thus, the concern as to which consequence is better. Ultimately, drug rehab can help addicts achieve sobriety and equip them with the knowledge and coping skills to remain on the path to recovery. Ending up in jail or prison is however more about punishment than treatment, and does little to work as a deterrent. 

Depending on the location and laws of that jurisdiction, it is possible for anyone prosecuted for drug-related offences to be punished by way of probation, community service, fines or imprisonment. Imprisonment is often the harshest penalty that under certain circumstances can even be lifelong. This typically happens when the person may be a repeat offender or if the drug-related charges are in addition to other offences like operating a vehicle while under the influence. In some countries, drug traffickers can even face the death penalty. 

The impact of drug offences can be quite devastating. In the US, it is estimated that one in five incarcerated prisoners is imprisoned due to drug-related offences. This makes drug offenders a huge burden on the prison system and by extension, taxpayers. 

Many advocate for drug offenders to be sentenced to drug rehab rather than being punished with jail time. These people often argue that imprisonment does little to stop such offenders from repeating the same behaviour once released as little is done to help them overcome their addiction. It is noteworthy that even first-time drug users that may be experimenting and not addicted to drugs may be caught by authorities and imprisoned, however, most that do end up in prison tend to be drug and/or alcohol addicts who are more likely to engage in risky behaviour. 

Why do drug addicts end up arrested

Drug and alcohol addiction tends to lead to a loss of inhibitions and a greater willingness to engage in risky behaviour. Even though some drugs can be depressants, their other effects can cause a person to enjoy their use to the extent it interferes with their ability to be a normal functioning member of society. 

Whether the effect of the drug or alcohol is hallucinogenic, euphoric or depressant, addiction can be problematic as it can motivate the addict to undertake risky behaviour to keep getting their fix. They will often exhaust what money they and their family members have to buy their drug of choice. When money is no longer accessible, they may engage in illegal activities like stealing, gambling and prostitution to get it. This places them at higher risk of coming to the attention of authorities and being arrested. 

Their behaviour while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can also damage personal and professional relationships. Depending on the drug being abused, they could start behaving erratically and even violently. They may become unable to work normally, attend school, and even maintain normal daily habits like cleaning the home, personal hygiene and eating healthily. All these can become warning signs to loved ones that there is a problem that needs addressing. 

There is also the risk that an addict could end up overdosing and dying. This is especially common when abusing injectable drugs as it can be difficult to be sure what kind of dose you are getting. 

For many addicts who spiral out of control, there reaches a point where loved ones may feel that going into rehab is the best option before they end up being arrested and possibly imprisoned. In some jurisdictions, the courts may provide the option of rehab instead of imprisonment. 

What is the punishment for drug-related charges?

In many parts of the world, minor drug offences, such as being caught with small amounts of illicit drugs will often attract minimal punishments like fines, probation or community service. More so if the person is a first-time drug offender and no other crime was committed besides possession. 

Repeat offenders however often find themselves facing harsher penalties. In some cases, if prosecuted as a felony, could mean many years of imprisonment. In certain parts of the world, particularly in some Asian and Arab countries, drug offences can attract the death penalty. There are currently over 3,000 people sitting on death row for drug offences worldwide. 

For those that might get away with minor punishment or eventually be released from prison after serving time for drug-related offences, the punishment does not end just here. Having a criminal record for drug offences can make it difficult to later find a job. Many employers are not accepting of such job candidates as they feel they might likely engage in theft or other vices that would affect their workplace to feed their addiction. 

Certain professions can also put barriers against people with such criminal records, preventing them from earning the licenses they need to work. Depending on where they live, it could also affect their access to housing. This is another reason why addicts and their families that realise the problem should try to get help before the situation escalates into an arrest. 

Effects of incarceration on drug addicts

An addict being arrested can be very problematic. Despite the fact that in many countries those that are incarcerated are entitled to healthcare, few jails and prisons are equipped and have the medical staff to support addicts in their recovery. There are also often diverging views between the medical fraternity and law enforcement on how addicts should be handled in prison. 

For those with major addiction problems, even just the issue of detoxification can be highly dangerous. This is because most prisons do not run rehab programs and those that are imprisoned and unable to get a fix are forced to go cold turkey without assistance. 

With no support, many inmates will instead try to access drugs, even behind bars. Unfortunately, drug abuse can carry on even in prison as illicit drugs do often find a way in. This allows for their addiction problem to persist. When the addiction is not treated while in prison, it makes it likely the situation will carry on even after the person is released and make it more likely they will re-offend and be re-arrested. For some, it can become a never-ending cycle that often leads to death.

Seeking treatment from drug rehab in Bali remains the best way to help an addict overcome their addiction and become sober. They can avoid the risk of being arrested and get on the path to recovery in a healing and calming environment. Being far from home is often ideal as it isolates them from the negative influences and peers that are encouraging their bad habits. They get to immerse themselves in a peaceful atmosphere where they can focus on understanding the triggers of their addiction and how to overcome them.

Drug rehab vs jail

When you are an addict or have a loved one that is an addict, you may be pondering what would happen if you end up in jail rather than in rehab. Here are some factors worth comparing. 

Quality of care

There are few jails and prisons that offer drug rehab programs. Those that do offer this service can rarely match the quality of care offered by dedicated alcohol and drug addiction rehab facilities. They often lack an adequate level of equipment, medication and personnel to offer patients the support they need for recovery. This is often because their function is split between enforcing punishment and supporting inmates. 

Rehab clinics are entirely dedicated to helping patients get their life back on track and figure out how to cope with what is going to be a lifelong challenge. There is no focus on punishing the patient for their past mistakes, just seeking ways to help them overcome and lead better lives. some facilities also offer vocational development programs that can help patients get back into the workforce. 

The differences in quality of care are especially notable when it comes to treating withdrawal symptoms and isolating patients from negative influences and access to illicit drugs. 


Rehabs help addicts get on the path of recovery. They offer holistic and evidence-based treatment programs that address problems in the mind, body and spirit. These treatments help form the foundation for healthy recovery with coping mechanisms being developed that will further sustain this after leaving the rehab facility. 

Jails are more about punishment and keeping offenders away from society. Little attention is given to helping inmates struggling with addiction improve their situation through treatment. In fact, many jails have a flourishing drug business where inmates make trades to access their illicit drug of choice. This helps to further sustain the addiction and increases the likelihood they will later be rearrested for similar offences. 


The environment in a rehab facility is much different from that of a jail or prison. Rehab facilities are designed to provide a peaceful environment where addicts can focus and get support for their recovery. No illicit drugs are allowed and patients are kept away from the influences that helped nurture their addiction. 

Jails and prisons often have access to illicit drugs, even with law enforcement being in charge. These environments also tend to be highly stressful as there is a high risk of violence and overcrowding. Even if you end up in isolation, there is no support provided which can worsen a person’s mental and emotional state. A lack of health services can further exacerbate the situation. Many inmates do end up overdosing or otherwise attempting suicide while imprisoned. 


Diet can play a role in helping an addict develop healthy habits and overcome their addictions. Many addicts neglect their health and eat poorly, often developing nutritional deficiencies that can affect their health and immune system. Rehab facilities will often undertake a health assessment to work out a proper diet that will correct such deficiencies and help the patient regain their physical health. 

In jail, you eat what you get. There are rarely any dietary accommodations, especially for those with addiction problems. And often the menus on offer are high-calorie and nutrient-poor. 


Those that end up incarcerated do so because the court has decided they must be punished this way. Even with a good lawyer defending them, there is still a chance the judge may decide they must be imprisoned for their offences. 

While in some cases family may be able to force admission to a rehab program, this generally requires the cooperation of the patient. Voluntarily seeking rehab treatment offers the best chance of recovery as the patient will be more willing to cooperate with the medical staff and whatever procedures they may have to endure. With rehab, you are making the choice to save yourself, but with jail, punishment is being forced upon you. 


The cost of going into rehab can vary widely. You can often mitigate some of this cost by opting to travel abroad for treatment. Drug rehab in Bali can be more affordable than similar-type facilities in the west, with the added advantage you will get treatment in the midst of tropical paradise. 

Going to jail is often more expensive when you consider the lost income from having to give up work. The financial burden on the prison system and taxpayers is another expense worth noting. With jail time, an addict is also more likely to become a repeat offender, whereas with rehab treatment they have better chances of avoiding a criminal record and remaining sober for longer. 

Some studies show that if drug offenders were put through rehab rather than being imprisoned, it could save the US federal government billions. This is because drug treatment programs cost less than incarcerating inmates, their health is likely to improve hence reducing the burden on the healthcare system, and there is a reduced risk of their repeating crimes, meaning a lower crime rate and need for law enforcement and courts. 

Why rehab is better than jail

Rehab is better than jail as it offers better chances that an addict will be able to overcome their addiction and start to lead a sober life. Rehab facilities are entirely dedicated to helping those with addiction issues figure out why they fell into addiction, their triggers and the coping mechanisms they need to lead a healthier life. 

Prisons and jails are about segregating inmates from society. This is done in an environment that unfortunately can nurture further addiction. Depending on where you are, there is often little support or healthcare services that can help in treating addiction. 

For those that are addicts or have loved ones they believe are addicts, early action is the best option. The earlier they can get into a suitable rehab facility and start treatment, the more likely they can avoid situations that could escalate into them being arrested and imprisoned. The often horrifying consequences of being imprisoned as an addict mean that such an eventuality should be avoided at all costs. 

Those that can advocate for change in laws that will see fewer addicts ending up in jail should be supported. Many prisons are flooded with drug offenders that were arrested and convicted of victimless crimes and would benefit greatly from being given access to addiction treatment rather than incarceration. The short to long-term benefits of helping drug offenders get rehab treatment rather than allowing them to be jailed far outweigh any upside to imprisonment. 

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