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Seeking Treatment after a DUI

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Being charged or convicted of driving under the influence may cause a period of reflection to help you understand the factors leading up to doesn’t necessarily mean you are an alcoholic or have an addiction problem. You may be given mandatory treatment by a court. If not, however, there are a lot of counseling, resource, and treatment centers ready and available for every need, and could very well keep you from getting another conviction in the future.

Is Treatment Necessary?  

This can really only be answered through discussion and personal reflection. Your DUI doesn’t necessarily mean you have a drinking problem but it does show there are other issues abound, whether it’s not understanding your alcohol tolerance level or partaking in an unhealthy coping mechanism. It’s important to be on the lookout for signs of alcohol abuse or dependency. These are some warning signs as defined by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence:

  • Using alcohol with other drugs
  • Inability to stop drinking, even when suffering negative consequences like hangovers, illness, and poor work or school performance
  • Facing legal issues after using alcohol
  • Drinking as a coping mechanism for stress or other life problems
  • Spending too much time or money on alcohol
  • Neglecting personal, work, or family obligations

The more and the longer you drink, the more of a tolerance your body will build to alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe and life-threatening, with people experiencing extreme agitation, hallucinations, vomiting, migraines, and even seizures. Medical detoxes and treatment centers can help the recovery process and targets the underlying psychological reasons for alcohol abuse.

Court-Ordered Treatment  

Driving is a right, not a privilege, so if you want the right to drive, you will have to earn it back in the eyes of the law. That could mean going back to school. DUI school, to be specific. According to the American Addiction Center, a court could order an individual with alcohol dependency to enroll in one of the following treatment programs:

  1. Medical detox
  2. Outpatient alcohol recovery program
  3. Inpatient alcohol recovery program
  4. Support groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous

While court-ordered treatment can seem tedious and frustrating, a study by the National Institute on Drug abuse found more individuals had good outcomes when referred to a treatment program by the legal system. The legal pressure adds to the frequency of attendance and remaining in the program for longer periods of time. 

Treatment Outside of Rehab  

If you know you are drinking too much alcohol but don’t believe a rehabilitation program is right for you, there are many other avenues to consider to lessen your dependency on alcohol. There are sober living homes that have specific rules to ensure sobriety and provide helpful recovery services, like group therapy. Finding support through Alcoholics Anonymous is a great way to build a support network. You may also wish to find a psychiatrist or therapist to help maintain your sobriety, and recognize patterns in your life and behavior that may make you want to drink.

How Lawyers Can Help After a DUI 

New laws are cracking down on multiple DUI offenders, and too many convictions could lead to a felony charge. Whether this is your first DUI charge or fourth, Scranton DUI & DWI lawyer Ernest D. Preate, Jr. Esquire, former Pennsylvania Attorney General and Lackawanna County District Attorney, has a wealth of experience to help overcome the evidence against you. Call the Scranton office at 570-507-7835 or contact the office online to set up a consultation today.

Resources:

ncadd.org/learn-about-alcohol/signs-and-symptoms

drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-abuse-treatment-criminal-justice-populations/legally-mandated-treatment-effective

https://www.epreatelaw.com/the-possible-penalties-of-being-charged-with-dui-dwi/

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Ernest D. Preate, Jr. Esquire

204 Wyoming Avenue
2nd Floor, Suite C
Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503
Phone: 570-558-5970
Fax: 570-558-5973

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