Cocaine Addiction Laws May Make Seeking Treatment Difficult

By Staff Writer

Most drug addiction rehab experts say that allowing users to seek treatment needs to be a part of any law enforcement strategy aimed at beating addiction. However, in many states this is not the case.

For example, lawmakers in Maine are currently considering stiffening the penalties against anyone found with cocaine. Local News station WLBZ reports that they are considering making possession of any amount of the drug a felony. Current law classifies possession of seven grams or less a simple misdemeanor.

The officials said that they are simply trying to take a tougher stance against cocaine addiction, but rehab experts worry that the move could make it more difficult for users to access treatment.

Charles Morris, of the Mercy Hospital Recovery Center, told the news source that there is limited evidence to suggest that jail is an effective treatment option, and that rehab centers may be a much better option.

The federal government recently voted to restructure laws that mandated stiffer sentences for crack cocaine possession, which some have said will help more individuals seek drug rehab, according to Human Rights Watch.