In Florida, there is a notable risk of youth starting to use drugs and winding up on a path that leads them to greater crime. Addictive drugs like opiates or meth have negative health effects and often lead to people committing crimes to raise money to afford them.
Drug use and crime
The legal system defines several crimes related to drug use, drug possession, and drug sales. These vary based on jurisdiction, but there are escalating charges and punishment based on the quantity of the substance as well as the type of substance itself. Even legal substances like alcohol have crimes associated with them depending on use. Property crimes connected to raising money to buy drugs can be just as problematic as the drug crimes themselves.
When someone gets caught with drugs, they often get charged with multiple sets of crimes if it is clear that they were all committed together. For a juvenile defendant, that means their first time in court can be facing significant charges. The best way to avoid trying to get into deeper trouble is to ask about diversion programs and other ways to find an off-ramp. Drug crimes can be a path to deeper and more heavy penalties in the future, with longer sentences, and addiction to drugs is a very difficult thing to get out of.
Drug use problems go beyond just the medical concerns: the legal trouble that they bring on can escalate quickly and can get a person off the rails fast. Avoiding these risks as a young person is crucial, and so is mitigating them if they do manifest.