You had no idea that the job you loved would put you under so much pressure. You started slipping a few uppers here and there to keep focused and stay on schedule. Or maybe you never expected what started out as a minor back injury from moving a patient to turn into an addiction to painkillers. Whatever the situation, you never dreamed that you’d one day find yourself in handcuffs for a drug offense.

Now that you’re facing charges, your world has come crashing down around you and you’re confronting the reality of your addiction. Is going into rehab while your case is pending a good idea?

Let’s put it this way: It may or may not help your case, but it definitely can’t hurt.

As a medical professional, you’re already in a high-risk occupation when it comes to addiction. It’s estimated that 20% of all nurses and 10% of all doctors struggle with some form of substance abuse and addiction. Getting caught, however, puts you in danger of losing not only your freedom but your license to practice. That means that it’s essential to approach your case by looking for ways to minimize the fallout in both your professional and personal life.

Going into rehab means that you’re acknowledging that you are struggling with addiction and asking for help. That can be a significant mitigating factor when your case is heard in court, especially if you’re a first-time offender. It can also help soften the consequences imposed by the professional board that controls your license to practice. Judges (and medical licensing boards) are always more inclined to be lenient when an individual takes responsibility for their problem and takes steps to change things for the better.

If you’re a medical professional facing drug charges, find out how an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you.