Lawyers and Substance Abuse: Dealing with Clients Who are Addicted

It’s important for lawyers to determine if a client is a person with substance use disorder, a substance abuser or an average person who used poor judgment. It’s hard to know, especially because the average lawyer is not an expert on addiction. There is no test for addiction like there is for physical illnesses. But there is an evidence-base that provides information that could be useful.

How Do I Know if My Client has a Substance Use Disorder?

There are two simple questions that you can ask to determine whether or not substance abuse or addiction is an issue for your client. These questions however, may give some clues.

1) Have your client ever missed a meeting because they were too hung-over/ill from partying to attend?

2) Has anyone in your client’s life (spouse, parent, boss, child, friend, physician, etc.) ever suggested that they might drink/use drugs to excess?

Once I Have Determined that Addiction or Substance Abuse is a Problem for my Client, What Can I Do to Help?

The key to long-term addiction recovery is highly individualized, holistic treatment that is underpinned by intensive individual psychotherapy and addresses issues based on a person’s readiness to change. Cliffside Malibu uses the “Stages of Change” model to help someone struggling with addiction know that s/he has a problem and believe that there is hope of recovery.  Once that is accomplished, intensive therapies are used to help addicts face the root cause of their pain and give them tools for moving through that pain.

Does Cliffside Malibu work with Attorneys or the Courts?

Yes. Our policy is to work hand-in-hand with criminal attorneys to get the best possible outcomes for our clientele with respect to sentencing, etc.  If an attorney asks, we have our clinical director give testimony on behalf of clients in treatment with us.

Cliffside Malibu is a leading provider of quality, comprehensive addiction treatment. We offer a wide range of holistic treatment modalities to complement your traditional treatment experiences. Acupuncture is one of the many modalities we provide to our patients as they work to heal beyond their substance use and actively prevent relapse. To learn more about the benefits of acupuncture, please give us a call today at (877) 322-1449 .