Alabama Drug Laws
Accountability Court Programs
The state of Alabama has a specific court system set up to address drug- and alcohol-related convictions. These programs, called “Referral Programs,” are administered by the State judicial system. There are three levels of referral programs for adults and a program designed specifically for youth and juvenile offenders.
When defendants complete the referral programs, their drug and alcohol convictions are generally removed from their records.
If defendants are deemed indigent by the court system, they will receive the programs at no cost. However, when the defendants regain financial stability, they are responsible for reimbursing the State.
- Level 1 – The Level 1 program includes 12 hours of drug and alcohol education classes. These classes are generally lecture oriented and cover substance abuse, the effects of substance abuse on the body, and drug and alcohol laws. Defendants referred to the Level 1 programs must not have a substance abuse problem. Cost is $115.
- Level 2 – The Level 2 program consists of 24 hours of interactive drug and alcohol education. The defendants who are referred to the Level 2 program have drug or alcohol abuse problems. To combat their addictions, before the defendants are allowed to graduate from the Level 2 program, each person must attend at least four self-help meetings. During the Level 2 program, defendants learn about substance abuse, drug and alcohol laws, and coping mechanisms for drug withdrawal and anger management. The program costs $250.
- Level 3 – The Level 3 program is an intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment course. The fees vary based on the level and length of treatment.
- Youth and Juvenile Programs – The Youth and Juvenile program is a 12-hour program for people under 21. The courses cover drug laws, the physical, psychological, and sociological effects of drugs on young people, the community resources available to help youth avoid or stem drug abuse, conflict resolution, and anger management. Youth 18-20 may be accepted into the adult programs at Levels 1 and 2 at the request of the state. The cost is $115.
Pregnancy, Children, and Drug Abuse
In 2006, Alabama state legislators passed the Chemical Endangerment Law. The law was intended to protect children from parents who operated methamphetamine labs in their homes. By 2011, the state had used the law to prosecute 30 to 40 cases against women who tested positive for illegal drugs at the time of a miscarriage, still born birth, or live birth.
Involuntary Commitment to Rehabilitation Facilities
The state of Alabama prohibits involuntary commitment to rehabilitation facilities for drug and alcohol abuse. The only way that families may commit a loved one is when the state declares that the patient requires mental health treatment, and the patient has refused voluntary treatment. Drug and alcohol abuse alone do not constitute a mental health condition in Alabama.
To have a family member committed, families, or people close to the patient, must submit a petition to the Probate Judge in the county where the patient lives. The Probate Judge will determine whether a mental health evaluation will be completed and based on the evaluation determine the most appropriate treatment plan.
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