When someone is arrested for drugs in Utah, jail is a typical outcome to their charges, yet spending time behind bars does nothing to help addicts struggling to win their own war on drugs; rehabilitation and education are needed to change their lives for the better.
Drugs in the bathroom, kids in the car
Two individuals were arrested in the parking lot of a gas station in Washington County early Monday morning when witnesses observed them loitering outside the store for multiple hours after leaving used drug paraphernalia in the public bathroom. When police arrived they found two suspects, Dustin Hafen of New Castle Utah and Christina Hafen of Hurricane Utah. Both appeared to be under the influence of drugs and a search of their vehicle turned up heroin, meth, marijuana, and paraphernalia. Also located in the car were two children belonging to one of the suspects, Christina Hafen.
Not mother of the year
While the pair was using drugs in the gas station bathroom, Christina’s children waited patiently in the car for hours on end. While some wonder what type of mother would put her drug use before her children, others may argue that she was intentionally not doing drugs in the presence of her children. She obviously made poor choices, but perhaps her saving grave was preventing her children from seeing their mother in the act of using drugs. Regardless, she now faces criminal charges, jail time, and the possibility of losing custody of her children.
Utah’s war on drugs
Utah has many residents who are struggling with drug addiction, and most of them don’t start off with illegal narcotics. A majority begin the journey with drugs by taking pills legally prescribed by doctors for ailments they may be facing due to illnesses or injuries. Unfortunately, prescription drugs can be extremely addictive, and even those with no previous drug use can fall victim for addiction. According to the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Utah is ranked in the top ten of states with the most overdose deaths related to prescription drugs. For those who don’t lose their battle with prescription drugs, there is a high number who will turn to other drugs such as heroin.
6 months or more behind bars
The penalties for drug use in Utah can end in hefty fines and jail time. Less than one ounce of marijuana can result in up to 6 months in jail while those caught with drugs such as heroin, which is considered a schedule I narcotic, will be facing a third degree felony charge and the possibility of 5 years or more in prison. Penalties for drug charges are increased for subsequent convictions which are seen frequently with individuals fighting addictions. Instead of receiving the rehabilitation services and family support needed to combat their war on drugs, addicts are locked away often with other addicts, only to temporarily pause them acting on their drug urges until they are released from jail.
The choice of addicts
When someone is addicted to drugs, they have little if any control over their life; scoring another hit consumes every fiber of their being. Many addicts will put themselves and their loved ones in danger in order to keep using. The majority end up destroying their personal and professional lives and too often lose their own lives to their addiction. Although using drugs was originally a conscious choice that they made, continuing drug use may seem impossible for them to avoid. Throwing them in jail may momentarily break their addiction, but without proper rehabilitation and education, there is little help to stop them from falling back into old habits. For information on drug rehabilitation and recovery for you or a loved one, speak with the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health in your area. For legal counsel regarding drug or other legal charges, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.