Although abusing drugs is illegal and prohibited, there are many people who are beginning to feel as if the proper punishment should be for the judge to send the individual to rehab instead of jail. There are many judges who opt to give offenders jail time, but this often doesn't do anything to address the drug habit of the individual. When the individual gets into jail, their drug habits either worsen, experience withdrawal symptoms, or they begin to make connections with other drug users in the jail. By the time they have gotten out of the jail system, they either go back to their drug usage or they get involved with crime in order to be able to afford drugs again.
There are many who have said that putting drug offenders in jail only worsens the situation. Some users have said that they had better results when they were able to get into a rehab program directly after getting out of jail, but that it didn't help them during the time they spent in jail dealing with their withdrawals and temptations. For some people, the time that they spent in jail made it difficult for them to be able to get jobs or live a normal life again; therefore, when they got out of jail they needed a different way to be able to make money to survive. This led towards people having to either get involved with crime to earn the money or directly becoming drug dealers, which could put them at risk for going into jail again.
Some rehab locations argue that it's not a good idea for judges to sentence individuals to go to rehab instead of jail. They say the main reason for this logic is that they don't want the users to influence other people who are in the rehab environment, but also because they believe that no one is going to be able to have a successful rehab experience if they don't truly want to be there. However, other locations have claimed that it's possible to have success with drug rehab even if the individual does not want to be there or hasn't gone there from their own free will; the process of being able to get the individual to admit that they have a problem and consider their role from another perspective can be very beneficial in the long run.
For some individuals, having a judge order them to go to rehab instead of jail would be a wake up call that would remind them of the seriousness of their actions. Many of these individuals are youth or have their own children that they need to take care of; the opportunity to go to rehab instead of jail reminds them that they have a chance to reverse the negative effects of the choices they have been making and still have the chance to work towards improving their lives and being around their families within the future.