Drug-related offenses can have a negative effect on an addict’s future in a number of ways. In addition to drug addiction causing serious health problems, it can cause many legal ramifications as well.
First of all, remember that criminal records follow you and can cause various barriers to those wishing to live a normal life again. Federal, state, and local laws all have laws and policies that cause consequences for citizens with criminal records.
Many people who are convicted of drug-related offenses and sent to prison are in dire need of treatment—mental and/or physical. Their addictions should be considered chronic health conditions, yet they’re not treated as such. They end up singled out and receive harsh treatment based on their history of drug-related convictions or histories. Many times when the offender hasn’t previously had a chance to treat the condition, they end up back in trouble because they turn back to their addiction.
The following are collateral consequences in federal law that apply to past drug use and offenses:
- Public housing restrictions
Laws and regulations can limit access to public and federally assisted housing for those with a history of alcohol or drug abuse, and past drug convictions. Any person who has been evicted from public housing because of substance misuse can be banned for up to three years because of substance misuse.
- Denying public benefits and nutrition assistance
Anyone who has been convicted of a drug-related felony cannot receive nutrition assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or cash assistance from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program. This ban lasts for life, even though a drug felony could be one, isolated possession of marijuana or other drugs. This ban varies from state to state.
- Hurdles to working in healthcare facilities
Federal law bans people with specific convictions from working in the healthcare industry. This includes permanent exclusions from being employed in a healthcare facility which participates in Medicaid, Medicare, and State Block Grant programs.
- Banning financial aid
The Higher Educations Act was changed in 1998, which prohibits anyone with a past drug conviction from seeking federal financial help.
Facing any of these barriers is incredibly difficult, which is why it’s crucial to reach out for help as soon as a situation gets out of hand due to an addiction. LEAD Recovery is available to answer any questions, so call today at 800-380-0012.