Drug charges can stem from a variety of situations, but they can all mean that you are facing some severe penalties if you are convicted. Many people don’t realize that drug-related charges can sometimes mean more than just those for possession or dealing. Instead, some have to do with the type of lifestyle the person lives.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics recognizes that there is a relationship between drug usage and various categories of crimes. It has divided these up into three areas, each of which encompasses different reasoning for the activities.

Drug-using lifestyle

The very nature of a drug user’s lifestyle could contribute to them doing things that aren’t legal. It also involves turning to markets to find the substances they are addicted to. In some cases, they learn these behaviors from other users, and they are often exposed to situations where criminal activities are occurring.

Drug-defined offenses

These are the offenses directly tied to the drugs. Possession, distribution, trafficking and manufacturing are a few of these. They can stem from any form of illegal drug, and even some legal drugs, depending on the circumstances. For example, possession of a prescription drug that is prescribed to someone else. This also includes charges for paraphernalia.

Drug-related offenses

This category has to do with criminal acts motivated by the drugs. In some cases, they turn to illegal activities to support their addiction. This can include theft of items so they can purchase the drugs. Some of these crimes are violent. For example, a person on certain substances might become combative or paranoid and attack someone. Violence against other drug deals also falls under this classification.

Challenges of these relationships

As you can see, all these relationships are interdependent. They show just how difficult it might be for a person who is involved in drugs to get out of the environment where criminal activities are commonplace. Court systems, including those in Pennsylvania, have begun to address these types of challenges through special programs.

The Drug Court program here helps people who have non-violent offenses get help with rehabilitation and social support. Since the court oversees it, the participant can address the criminal charges as they get the help they need. Finding out whether you qualify for this program could benefit your defense, but you must be ready to commit to the terms so you can complete it.