Facing Outstanding Legal Issues in Recovery

Part of a successful recovery is working to come to terms with our past, no longer allowing it to define who we are in the present. In order to truly let go of our past we must face any as yet unmet consequences of our actions. Often these come at the hands of the legal system, and if you have relocated to South Florida after receiving substance abuse treatment your legal issues are left unresolved back home. How can you best face and resolve this wreckage of your past without putting your soberity at risk?

First and foremost, now that your mental clarity has been restored you should revisit the details of your legal problems with fresh eyes, with the help of your sponsor if possible. It would be very beneficial if you are able to retain the services of an attorney in the county or state where the charges originate, as they will be able to communicate and negotiate with the courts on your behalf while you remain in Florida. Do not let the fear of an outstanding warrant discourage you from facing charges, as these issues will not go away and could prevent you from growing in sobriety later on down the line. Instead, maintain rigorous honesty and prudence as you approach these issues with your higher power guiding you.

As the AA Big Book says, acceptance is the answer to all our problems today. Ultimately, you are powerless over the court system and have no control over the punishment they decide for you. Many addicts in early recovery have let their fear and anger over this lack of control drive them to relapse just before a sentence is handed down. This is doubly harmful, as they have now set themselves back in their recovery program and the courts look down on active substance abuse, usually handing down harsher sentences to those who test positive for substances versus those who maintain their sobriety throughout their legal case.

“We do not regret the past, nor do we wish to shut the door on it.” This is how the AA Big Book directs us to look upon our past. This includes any outstanding legal issues which are lingering unresolved in your sobriety. It is crucial you settle any such legal issues so you can truly move on from your past, rather than running from them and allowing them to hang over your head, filling your heart with fear. Remember, now that you are in sobriety your higher power is at your back, guiding your will and keeping you from unnecessary pain. So long as you live in the principles of recovery and strive to do your God’s will rather than your own, whatever happens as a result of these legal issues will be in your best interest, and you will be able to move past it as a sober individual.


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit www.evolutionstreatment.com