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Is drug addiction destroying your loved one's future?

If your son or daughter has fallen into a life of addiction, you may spend many hours remembering innocent, happy times. Of course, no one plans to become an addict, and no one expects to watch a loved one caught up in the deadly world of drugs and crime.

Whether your loved one has struggled with a drug addiction for many years or has recently fallen into the trap of heroin, methamphetamine or opioid addiction, you understand there are two paths your child could choose: the road to recovery or the road to death. Sometimes, however, a clear option opens when an addict meets with the law.

Common penalties for drug crimes

Because of the terrifying heroin and opioid epidemics finding their way to every corner of the country, law enforcement is justifiably zealous in its battle to rid the streets of the dangerous substances. However, this often means ridding the streets of people like your child. In other words, even for minor drug offenses like possession, your child may end up incarcerated, facing heavy fines and living with a criminal record that will limit many future opportunities.

Of course, the laws in Massachusetts and across the country include increasing penalties, called Schedules, for the kinds and amounts of drugs a person carries; for example:

  • Schedule IV: Anxiety medications, Tramadol, Soma
  • Schedule III: Steroids, Tylenol with codeine, anesthetics
  • Schedule II: Cocaine, opioids, Ritalin and other prescribed stimulants, methamphetamines
  • Schedule I: Ecstasy, heroin, LSD

While Schedule I drugs serve no medical purpose, many misuse legitimate drugs that are highly addictive and dangerous. For this reason, if authorities charge your child with selling these drugs, the potential penalties are even harsher. For example, your loved one may serve decades more in prison beyond a possession sentence and even more if a court convicts him or her of selling to a minor.

How low is rock bottom?

Other charges that police typically add to possession or distribution charges may include possessing drug paraphernalia, manufacturing controlled substances or driving under the influence of drugs. Convictions for any of these charges may add years to a sentence and thousands to a fine. None of those penalties will help your loved one turn the corner to recovery.

If you are suffering watching your child face the potential legal consequences of drug addiction, you may feel you have no recourse but to stand back and let the chips fall. However, seeking advice from a compassionate attorney may offer you options for finding alternatives for your loved one.

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