What Might Happen If I’m Caught by Police Using Drugs?

What Might Happen If I’m Caught by Police Using Drugs?

Abusing drugs like morphine comes with consequences. These consequences can be personal, professional and legal in nature, and what happens when you’re caught using drugs can involve all of three of these.

If You’re Caught Using Drugs, You Can Lose Your Job

If you struggle with addiction, you are legally protected against discrimination as long as you are working on recovery. If you are not and are caught using drugs, you can lose your job. Once you lose a job as a result of drug use or an associated criminal record, it can be very difficult to find employment again, and your options for the future may be limited. The Drug Policy Alliance[1] explains, “With a criminal conviction under your belt, it isn’t easy to get a job, and you’re not eligible for student loans, which doesn’t leave a lot of legal options open for a productive life. Even if someone was never incarcerated, the “criminal” or “felon” label can follow a person convicted of a drug law violation for this rest of his or her life.” Being caught using drugs can take away current employment opportunities and make it hard to advance or even get started in a career. Addiction treatment helps individuals develop job skills, find employers that understand the value of employees in recovery and informs you of your rights and resources as a person in recovery.

If You’re Caught Using Drugs, You Can Lose Your Children

No one wants to separate parents from their children, but if children are in danger, the law may step in. If you are caught using drugs, you can lose custody of your children and face felony charges. The US Department of Health and Human Services[2] shares, “There is increasing concern about the negative effects on children when parents or other members of their households abuse alcohol or drugs or engage in other illegal drug-related activity…Many States have responded to this problem by expanding the civil definition of child abuse or neglect to include this concern.” Many of the laws relating to drug use and child abuse involve consequences for buying, selling or making drugs around children, but you do not have to be dealing or manufacturing drugs to potentially lose custody. The Department of Health and Human Services continues that in addition to these actions, “Specific circumstances that are considered child abuse or neglect in some states include…using a controlled substance that impairs the caregiver’s ability to adequately care for the child.” If you are caught using drugs by police, your parenting rights can be taken away. Custody can be regained, but this is often a lengthy process during which you will have limited or even no access to your children. Seeking treatment and complying with court mandates and requirements can result in being reunited with your children, but seeking treatment before charges are filed and custody is lost is the surest way to keep your family together, healthy and safe.

If You’re Caught Drugged Driving, You Face Serious Consequences

Being caught using drugs is serious at any time, and being caught using drugs while driving can come with additional consequences. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence[3] (NCADD) explains, “Being convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impact your life in ways you may not be aware of, including loss of employment, prevention of employment in certain jobs, higher insurance rates, serious financial setbacks, personal and family embarrassment, and possible incarceration.” As with being caught using drugs at other times, your personal and professional life will most likely be set back. However using drugs while driving may involve more than legal consequences. It can involve the loss of your or another’s life. NCADD shares, “An estimated 32% of fatal car crashes involve an intoxicated driver or pedestrian. 3,952 fatally injured drivers tested positive for drug involvement.” Mixing alcohol or drugs and driving is serious. Even if you are not concerned about being caught using drugs by police, consider the effect drugged driving may have on the lives of those around you. Addiction treatment protects your life, and it protects the lives of those who interact with you both regularly and randomly.

Avoid the Consequences of Addiction

If you or a loved one struggles with addiction to morphine or another substance of abuse, take action now to prevent consequences or to address and repair those that have already happened. We can help you use employer or state-provided insurance to get treatment, navigate drug court laws and start your recovery as soon as possible. All calls are free and confidential, and we are here 24 hours a day to help you prevent the consequences of addiction.


[1]    http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-law-convictions-and-punishments. “Drug Law Convictions and Punishments.” Drug Policy Alliance. 2015. Web. 8 Dec 2015.

[2]    https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/drugexposed.pdf. “Parental Drug Use as Child Abuse.” US Department of Health and Human Services. 2012. Web. 8 Dec 2015.

[3]    https://ncadd.org/about-addiction/addiction-update/driving-while-impaired-alcohol-and-drugs. “Driving While Impaired—Alcohol and Drugs.” National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. 26 Jun 2015. Web. 8 Dec 2015.