Can you go to rehab while on probation? (UK)

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Can you go to rehab while on probation? (UK) 

It is possible to go to rehab while on probation. Parolees involved in drug-related offending or have alcohol and drug abuse problems are required to attend treatment to lower the risk of drug-related crime. A parolee needs to talk to their parole officer before entering a treatment facility. Violation of the rules could lead to punishment. 

In 2019/20, there were around 175,000 drug offences in England and Wales [1]. Drug-related crime is rampant, and the risk of re-offending is high. The law offers court-mandated rehab in cases where the alcohol or drug use compelled the individual to commit crime.

Addiction treatment requirement for probation 

Offenders access interventions via the rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR). This intervention is available for offenders' post-sentence. [2]

The probation practitioner allocates days when the individual will be attending addiction treatment.

The probation officer also selects the sequence of addiction treatment plus any other treatment option that may benefit the offender.  

The law permits offenders to engage in programmes that will help them address the factors that led them to commit crime in the first place.  

You can seek programmes that address the following: 

  • Mental health issues 
  • Learning new skills or qualifications 

The law also permits other support programmes that will help the offender. For instance, the offender may have to meet the people affected by their offence as part of the restorative justice programme [3]. 

You can also alert them of your interest to seek professional advice and interest to seek treatment so that you don't violate the conditions of your probation.  

You are to coordinate with your probation officer on how you'll attend the regular meetings for addiction recovery. 

What you should know before going to rehab while on probation? 

What you need to know is that courts take probation violations seriously. If you go against any of the rules you're required to follow, you may be immediately arrested and sent to prison.

You may have to present a letter in writing showing your interest in seeking recovery at a private treatment centre. If you are looking for treatment providers outside your area of jurisdiction, you may present your request before a court. 

There are concerns that the free or government sponsored drug or alcohol addiction treatment services are not effective enough to achieve long-term sobriety [4].

Family members may show concern about the care provided in prison or during probation. You may need to enter a specific treatment centre, particularly a private rehab centre. 

If you consider rehab, you should talk to your probation officer for referrals to an appropriate alcohol rehab treatment programme.


How to plan for rehab while on probation?

When planning to go for alcohol or drug rehab, it's essential to know if drug use is a violation of your probation. If your supervising officer catches you with drugs or any drug-related paraphernalia, you will likely worsen your punishment. 

If you take drugs or alcohol while in treatment, you will immediately be in prison. In most cases, the fear of ending up in jail is enough motivation for offenders to complete drug or alcohol abuse rehab. 

What to expect when going to rehab while on probation 

Seeking treatment while on probation is challenging because of the pressure to get sober. The experience would undoubtedly be different if the person sought addiction treatment outside the legal system. 

One of the requirements when attending treatment while on probation is regular drug testing. If you fail a drug test, you will face a harsher sentence. Also, everything that occurs while in treatment will be reported to your supervising officer. 

If your treatment provider reports that you are refusing treatment, you will violate your probation. 

Rehab for drugs or alcohol addiction is the best way to overcome substances. Rehab offers a variety of therapies to help you get to the underlying cause of the drugs or alcohol misuse.

The support you get from professional addiction experts helps you or your loved one view addiction as a crisis and a challenge that can be overcome. 

The rules you have to follow when going to probation in rehab

Your supervising officer will inform you of the rules that involve your probation. Treatment will occur at a specified place and involve regular drug testing and court reviews. 

Your supervising officer will work with you to create a personal action plan so that you can focus on ways that will lower re-offending.

Your treatment provider will also explain the link between drug use and offending. They will explain how addiction affects health and leads to crime. 

There's information provided on government webpage about the consequences of breaking the rules of probation [5].  

Finding a rehab centre while on probation 

The overall quality of free treatment services is questionable. If you can afford to pay for quality treatment, you can get support from your supervising officer to access the best rehabilitation centre.  

What's important is that you talk to them to make sure you're on-page with the law. 

Court-ordered rehab for drug-related offending 

Court-ordered treatment is provided as a substitute for going to jail, in criminal cases related to substance misuse. It aims to protect the public from chances of re-offending. 

An offender who gets court-mandated treatment will be required to visit a medical provider. The professional will provide medical advice on the best treatment available depending on a person's needs. 

Consequences for violating court-ordered rehab 

There are rehabilitation centres that work in partnership with other agencies to deliver Drug Rehabilitation Requirement and Alcohol Treatment Requirement.

The support and treatment options provided aim to lower cases of violation. Failure to adhere to court-mandated rehabilitation can lead to harsher penalties. 

What happens once treatment ends? 

Most offenders fear resuming their lives after recovery. For a long time, their lives were dominated by drugs or alcohol. The process of transitioning can cause anxiety.

However, the skills learned, and rehabilitation care are required to assist the individual lead a healthy, fulfilling life once they complete probation. 

Get professional treatment advice today.  

Our addiction care facilities are centres that work with other agencies to deliver the Drug Rehabilitation Requirement and Alcohol Rehabilitation.

You can contact us today for professional advice. You can leave your number on our webpage for our free call-back services.  

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About the author

Laura Morris

Laura Morris is an experienced clinical practitioner and CQC Registered Manager with over twenty years experience, over ten of which have been as an Independent Nurse Prescriber.

She has held a number of senior leadership roles in the substance use and mental health sector in the NHS, the prison service and in leading social enterprises in the field.

Last Updated: October 31, 2023