The impact that drug charges can have on your future is serious. For many charged with drug possession, addiction tends to be a motivator behind the crime. Without addressing the motivator, severe punishments for the crime may not solve the problem. Instead, rehabilitation may be better suited for those facing drug charges than jail time. 

California is not exempt from the opioid epidemic. In 2017, over 2000 overdose deaths involved opioids, writes the National Institute on Drug Abuse. More often than not, these deaths involve prescription drugs. Deaths from fentanyl rose and so did deaths from heroin. Almost 40 percent of all person who needed painkillers received opioid prescriptions. While this is lower than the national average, it is still high. 

As the addiction rates grow, there will likely be more crime. Drug sales are profitable because people are addicted to them and because they are illegal. Hence, the only ones who can provide the drugs are those who seek to make a profit. While some consider rehabilitation to be less of a punishment, it addresses the problem headfirst. Severe punishments for drugs only serve a person’s sense of justice or vengeance, but does not take care of the problem, explains the American Addiction Centers. 

Every person deserves to have an individualized approach to drug charges. Over the last ten years, there have been more steps to stop overzealous prosecutors from charging people with simple possession. The consequences of drug crimes may seem overwhelming and may not seem to fit the crime, despite the prison’s inability to solve the drug possession and drug sales problem.