The consequences of addiction extend beyond the fundamental health and relationship damage that addiction brings. For many individuals that get trapped in the cycle of addiction, there are eventual legal consequences as well. Looking forward towards the path ahead, you need to understand these potential consequences if you want to make informed decisions as you move forward.

Legal Damages Of Substance Abuse

When addiction begins to take hold, it makes it difficult for a person to make rational decisions. The stronger the need for the substance becomes, the more risks the individual is willing to take. Responsibilities are left behind and often the person can wind up in trouble with the law.

Although each situation is unique, there are three general outcomes from arrests related to drug abuse that can have long-reaching effects on your life. These include:

  1. Conviction And Its Consequences

    Wooden GavelThe most obvious legal consequence related to drug and alcohol abuse is the punishment you receive as a result of conviction. The outcome of a drug charge can vary considerably based on the substance, the specific crime (public intoxication, driving under the influence, intent to distribute, etc.) and your previous criminal record.

    The punishment for conviction could be as light as community service, or as heavy as 25 or more years in prison. You may only now be entering the world of addiction. You may not consider yourself a criminal. But it is important to remember that the legal system can be very unforgiving, especially when it comes to drug convictions.

    In many states, the sentences for conviction are mandatory” meaning the judge has no say in how severely you are punished. No matter the circumstances surrounding your situation, your punishment will be the same, and often severe.

  2. Criminal Record

    Criminal records related to drug abuse are difficult to shake. In fact, if you are convicted on a drug charge, this fact will stay on your record for the rest of your life. It will follow you around, and will be seen by anyone who conducts a background check on you. Many companies will avoid hiring a convicted drug offender. If you’re not disqualified outright, you will still have to discuss your history with the potential employer and hope that he or she is understanding.

    Signing legal documentCriminal conviction related to drugs can also impact your ability to get federal student aid. This type of conviction can make it where you cannot get any aid at all, or sometimes only a portion of the aid that a student without a conviction would get.

  3. Lost Driver’s License

    A more immediate legal consequence of substance abuse can be the loss of your driver’s license. If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, or any other drug, it can lead to the loss of your right to drive.

    While the possible jail time and fines of driving under the influence are often severe, the physical loss of the license and the right to drive your vehicle is immediately disruptive for many people. Without the ability to drive, you may have a much harder time making your way to work, to school, or to social events.

Stopping Before Things Get Worse

Whatever legal consequences you or your loved one has experienced from addiction, things do not have to get worse. We can help you put an end to the cycle of addiction, and avoid any further repercussions. Contact us now to learn more.


  1. Students With Criminal Convictions Have Limited Eligibility For Federal Student Aid, Federal Student Aid,