Are All Substance Abuse Classes Court Ordered?

If you\’re caught driving a vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, the penalties you\’ll face will include court ordered substance abuse classes. In some cases, this is a choice given to a defendant as opposed to completing a jail term. In other cases, the classes may be a mandatory requirement in addition to other penalties, such as probation, community service, and fines.

While the laws of each state differ, it\’s also not uncommon to be required to complete a substance abuse treatment program in order to be eligible to regain your driving privileges. In these situations, substance abuse classes are ordered by a judge at the conclusion of your hearing or trial, so failing to complete the program can put you in violation of the court\’s mandate. In that case, a judge may issue a warrant for your arrest and any plea arrangement you previously made will be invalidated. As a result, your failure to complete substance abuse classes can lead to you serving a jail term for your original charges.

A DUI charge is a common way that people end up taking substance abuse classes, but it\’s not the only way. In fact, many people actively seek treatment on their own as they begin to recognize that their alcohol or drug use has gotten out of control. In that case, they can voluntarily look into the various treatment options in their community to find the one that they think will offer them the best chances for a sustained recovery. In completing the intake assessment, they won\’t need to show that they have been ordered to take the classes by a judge, nor will they have to submit proof of the successful completion of the course to a court.

Voluntary participation allows an individual to get the treatment they know they need without having to meet other requirements. This is often the most ideal situation because the individual has an honest yearning to get well. As a result, the various lessons learned in treatment will be more effective in helping the individual stay clean and sober.

Can a Family Member Seek a Court Order for a Loved One?

It\’s also common for family members to struggle with an addicted loved one who doesn\’t understand that they need help. In these situations, the addict will continue to abuse alcohol or drugs without realizing the adverse effects their substance abuse is causing. It can be difficult to recognize the signs of addiction in a loved one, so family members will have to pay closer attention once they recognize that there is a problem. They should look for signs that the individual is more withdrawn, doesn\’t engage in activities that they once enjoyed, and has started socializing with a new group of friends. Additionally, the following signs of addiction may also be present:

  • Fatigue
  • Sudden weight changes
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Frequent nausea and/or vomiting
  • Tremors or general weakness
  • Depression or anxiety

While one or two signs may be the result of other health conditions, an individual who exhibits multiple signs of addition is in need of help. An adult cannot be forced into treatment by the courts unless they have been charged with a crime that has been linked to their substance abuse. While parents can compel a minor child to participate in treatment, the same rules apply as far as getting a court to order treatment.

This leaves it up to the family to convince an addict to seek treatment and getting them to do so willingly is often better for everyone. You should begin by having one on one conversations with the addict to try to get them to sign up for substance abuse classes voluntarily. An addict will often become defensive and resistant in this situation, so it’s important to avoid making confrontational statements. Instead, try to help them see the damage the substance abuse is doing to their life. If they still resist after several attempts, an intervention may be necessary.

This is also something your family should do on their own, but a substance abuse treatment center may offer you guidance in conducting the intervention. If you\’re worried about a loved one\’s substance abuse habits, our counselors are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help. When you call us at 833-820-2922, we can answer all of your questions about addiction treatment and explain our services. Together, we can help your loved one start on the path to clean and sober living.

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