Your doctor prescribed pain pills for your chronic health issue, but the medication has a high risk of dependence. Once you have been taking the habit-forming pills for a while, your doctor decides you should take something else. At this point, you lose your source, but your dependence on the drug continues.

If you move on to a different drug in order to keep from going into withdrawal, you could put yourself at risk for arrest. Drug charges are serious, but there may be an alternative to prison that will help you to rebuild your life.

The South Dakota Unified Judicial System has drug treatment courts that offer assistance to people with lives damaged by drugs. The solution to your problem may not be as simple as choosing to stop using the substance, so the goal of drug courts is to promote rehabilitation. Experts realize that punishing a person with a substance abuse problem through prison time typically results in a repeat offender. You may qualify if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are over 18 years old
  • You volunteer to participate in the program
  • You have no current convictions for distribution of marijuana or a controlled substance, or for a violent offense
  • You are not a sex offender
  • Your assessment indicates that you are at high risk for reoffending
  • You are willing to live in a specific area to make it easier for a professional to monitor your progress

Your criminal defense attorney will read through the manual that explains the participation requirements with you. Then, he or she can help you fill out the application for drug court, as well as the forms that you must complete if you receive an acceptance. 

According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, two years after graduation, 75 percent of those completing a drug court program are arrest-free. Through this program, you have a greater chance of becoming one of these success stories.