If you’re seriously thinking about attending a residential drug treatment program, you probably have a lot of questions. You may think that these questions are odd, but chances are, you’re not the only one with these same concerns. One thing that may be on your mind is the legal aspects of inpatient drug treatment. For example, you may be wondering about law enforcement. Can the facility staff call police if you leave rehab early? Generally, the answer is no, not unless you have committed a crime or violated a court agreement of some kind. Some examples are:
- You are court-ordered to attend an inpatient rehab program for a specific amount of time
Not all rehab facilities accept court-ordered residents. However, of the ones that do, they are required by law to notify local law enforcement that you have left before your treatment is complete. The same is true for any kind of unauthorized absence, or if you fail to return from an approved furlough on time. Staff cannot physically prevent you from leaving. They will sincerely try to convince you to stay if they can. If you don’t stay, you have left them with no choice but to notify the authorities. They must follow the law. Leaving court-ordered drug treatment early is a crime.
Crimes and Arrest Warrants
- You committed a crime
If you have done something illegal, such as stealing property that belongs to the facility, then they will almost certainly press charges. This is true whether you try to leave or not, but if you to take a facility laptop with you as you walk out the door, you are guilty of theft. You can expect the rehab to file charges against you.
- You bring or use illegal drugs on facility property
Inpatient drug rehab facilities watch all residents closely for signs of drug use. A resident cannot refuse to take a urine test or refuse to allow their persons or property to be searched. If they do, they can be expelled from the program. For someone who is court-ordered to attend rehab, any kind of refusal of this nature is an automatic violation of their probation conditions. Whether a court-ordered resident or not, anyone found in possession of illegal drugs or unauthorized prescription narcotics will be charged with drug possession.
It’s certainly hopeful that no rehab resident would also be selling drugs on the premises, but if there is evidence of that, they can expect to be charged with possession with intent to sell, a far more serious crime. This is especially true in a rehab facility. Evidence of drug sales would include scales, small baggies or balloons for repackaging and large amounts of drugs that exceed any reasonable expectation for personal use.
- You have an arrest warrant
If you have an arrest warrant out for you, and the facility discovers this, they will almost certainly call the police. This is true even if the warrant is old and has nothing to do with drugs. It also holds true whether you decide to leave or stay. If this happens, the best thing to do is to ask the facility for help with going to court to turn yourself in. Especially if the charge is drug-related, a drug rehab facility can do a lot to influence your case. They likely can get your charges deferred so that you can at least complete the program. They can write letters on your behalf. If you finish the program in good standing, your case will likely have a far more favorable outcome than if you did not.
The Staff Won’t Call Police
Drug rehab facility staff will not call the police if you leave the program early as long as you’re not court-ordered to stay. However, it’s likely a big mistake. If anything, drug rehab protects you FROM the police. If you continue to abuse drugs, your chances of arrest increase.
If you’re buying drugs on the black market, whether illegal ones or prescription ones, just the act of meeting with a dealer and buying them is a crime. In some states, the penalties are draconian. You will have a felony arrest record for the rest of your life. Getting a good career going will be all but impossible. Nearly all employers do background checks these days.
If You Need Help
If you’re addicted to drugs, and you don’t know which way to turn, we are here to help you. You may call us at 800-737-0933 anytime. We are here 24 hours a day to listen to your situation and guide you to the best rehab solution for you. Please call us. We are here to help.