What got me in jail: drinking or depression?
The holidays can be stressful no matter who you are. Financial stress, expectations from family, loss of loved ones, marital issues, health problems and heavy workloads can all make the season a little less bright.
For those who suffer from undiagnosed or untreated illnesses, like depression, the holidays can be even harder. Depression can lead to consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or to using drugs to try to numb the pain or discomfort someone is experiencing in their life. The availability of alcohol at parties and gatherings around the holidays doesn’t help. It’s easy for someone to pick up a bottle or to get their next fix however they can.
People who suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety or depression are always more vulnerable to picking up a substance when they are struggling with their condition.
Many people think they’ll get back on track after the new year. But many don’t. Something happens and they don’t get the chance. One wrong decision to pick up the car keys while under the influence can land someone in jail with a DUI, further increasing the severity of their situation and their desire to escape and deny their issues.
For some people, a DUI is the result of one bad decision, thinking they were sober enough to get behind the wheel. For others it was the culmination of a lot of factors in their life that were spiraling downhill for some time.
Depression can lead to excessive drinking and alcohol abuse, while excessive drinking can also lead to depression. Becoming more and more dependent on alcohol can eventually lead to missing work, flunking school, falling into financial or relation problems, legal issues, etc. These can all lead someone towards depression. Either factor could have been the driving force behind the behaviors that culminated in a DUI.
To the judge, it doesn’t matter whether depression or drinking came first. Whether depression fueled the drinking, or drinking brought on the depression, the sentence will be the same. A DUI is a serious matter, and the judge will treat it that way in order to keep the streets as safe for people as possible.
Getting legal help is only part of what will get you out of jail and back behind the wheel. If the underlying issues of abuse and mental disorder go undiagnosed and untreated, the pattern will repeat itself and you can end up back in jail with another DUI and eventually a permanent revocation of your driver’s license.
Finding help for your disorder and substance abuse will not only help get your life back on track and out of a vicious, destructive pattern, but it can also help you create a strong case for yourself in court.
Check out the treatment centers in our directory and start taking the first steps toward your freedom and recovery. You can get your life back on track. You can make the necessary changes that will lead to restored financial and relational stability. You can make the changes that lead to a life of happiness and freedom from addiction and depression. Start by getting treatment and contacting a lawyer in your area.