Mike G Law

Beyond the legal matters of drugs: Mental health

Drugs can and do create problems within the society of Tampa and beyond. You probably know someone who deals with personal struggles related to drug use.

If you do know someone or perhaps have faced drug struggles yourself, you also probably know that drug activity doesn't occur in a vacuum. This is one of various posts to come that seeks to raise awareness of the health matters that are so often at play behind the scenes of drug charge cases in Florida.

The National Institutes of Health explain the numerous health conditions that are tied to drug cases. A common health matter encompasses a number of possible specific conditions. Mental health problems are often linked to the men and women, young and old, who face drug charges in Florida.

Studies show that those who suffer from mood or anxiety disorders are about two times more likely to become addicts. But is addiction an illness itself? The NIH puts it about as simply as it gets. Its answer to the question whether addiction is a mental illness is as follows:

"Yes, because addiction changes the brain in fundamental ways,     disturbing a person's normal hierarchy of needs and desires and substituting new priorities connected with procuring and using the drug. The resulting compulsive behaviors that override the ability to control impulses despite the consequences are similar to hallmarks of other mental illnesses."

The reality that people's health can impact and is impacted by drug-related behavior is important to defendants' futures. The common response to a drug charge conviction is incarceration. How does that solve the problem of the mental illness that likely causes someone to use drugs and make repeated poor decisions?

If you or someone you love is facing time in prison for possession or other drug charges, you are probably wishing that the courts could better understand the full story behind what happened. Maybe you feel out of control. Maybe you know illness is the problem, not criminal intent. 

Talk to an experienced drug crime defense lawyer whom you trust. Speak candidly about your unique circumstances and how you believe a focus on addiction and mental illness is crucial reaching the best case outcome.

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