by admin

s forced addiction recovery a good idea? While both sides hotly debate this topic, we will look to see if it works or not. One side is that addiction is a mental illness and not a criminal matter. The better question may be, does it work?

What is forced recovery

Forced recovery is a sentence imposed by a judge. The order of rehab is alternative sentencing. One that will provide recovery therapy to those ordered to it and still be a punishment for breaking the law. Most forced recovery is a yearlong sentence that even after the addict leaves the treatment center, they have to reside in a half-way house or sober living house for the rest of the year and stay clean.

For years activists have been trying to get lawmakers to see this not a justice issue but a treatment issue. They feel that providing treatment instead of jail is the better solution as the addict can have a second lease on life. 

Lawmakers have not come around entirely because they feel there is no guarantee that the addict will remain clean and sober, becoming a productive part of society. Instead, they think that too many will relapse and go back to committing criminal acts again. 

The pros and cons

There are pros and cons to forced recovery. Not all states, but several are using drug court to force nonviolent offenders into recovery instead of placing them in jail. 

The pros include:

  • Living on a schedule 
  • Getting help with mental illness and addiction both through various therapies
  • Being able to receive medications to help with withdrawal symptoms
  • Meeting new people who can help them maintain recovery after their time is up
  • Tools counselors teach help to deal with underlying issues and new stresses in order to deal with cravings, anxiety, stress, and more without relapsing
  • No distractions or temptations of substances or alcohol
  • Licensed trained professionals to counsel and teach addicts how to build a sober life

Being able to build a life without the distraction of drugs or alcohol, is an excellent start to building their new life, it helps them get clean, live within a schedule, and even find a job.

The cons include:

  • Relapse can and do happen for some 
  • Meeting new people who are not committed to recovery but will tempt others with substance or alcohol.
  • Price can be tough on the addict as they likely do not have a job due to their addiction
  • Difficulty transitioning back to their home from recovery or halfway house. 
  • Not being fully committed to change

Not being fully committed to change will set the addict up for failure in recovery. They will repeat the same patterns they had before they forced into rehab. Because they are not there willingly, they will close their mind and ears.


No matter which side of the topic you are on, there are pros and cons to treatment instead of jail time. 449 Recovery has monitored detox and several therapies that can help you reach recovery. Call today (855) 435-7449 to learn more.