Criminalizing Addiction | Controlled Substance Arrests 

Controlled Substance Law

Addiction is a Disease...

and is Criminalized

Hire a criminal defense attorney who knows about addiction and received special training. Prescription pill use, Heroin charges, opiate use and possession of a controlled substance and sale of a controlled substance may be connected with a substances abuse disorder. Rather than simply continuing to defend people addicted to drugs, The Law Offices of Cory H. Morris takes a holistic approach, trying to remedy the problem at hand. Additionally, similar to treating homosexuality as a disorder, disease and crime in the not so distant past, many states still criminalize the symptoms of a substance use disorder: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th Degree; Possession of a Hypodermic Instrument; Possession of Marijuana; Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol; and Driving Under the Influence of Drugs are all crimes that may be the result of an addiction or the abuse of a substance. 


An adjunct professor of psychology, a counselor and attorney at law, Cory H. Morris obtained a CASAC-Trainee certificate (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC)) and has well over 4,000 hours of OASAS approved hours towards a full CASAC. Obtaining a graduate degree from Adelphi’s Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology, (use this link: Cory Morris has worked with a myriad of individuals facing mental illness, substance abuse and, unfortunately, criminal charges that are stemming from such disorders. If you or a loved one are facing a crime that is the result of substance use or abuse, call the Law Offices of Cory H. Morris: 631-450-2515


Diseased Mind


Since the start of this country, crime required mens rea, a criminal mind. “Historically, the law has required that before an individual is deemed a criminal,

he must have acted with intent to do wrong.” However, “[o]utside medicine, where law and the mind intersect, mental illness is deemed a personal

responsibility, manageable through self-control.” Addiction, itself, implies a lack of will in the compulsive use or device in which one engages. Perhaps the inquiry should become whether addiction or disease is so entangled with the purchase, possession and, sometimes, sale of that illegal substance that such allegation can still result in either pretrial or post-trial incarceration.


Can a diseased mind formulate the required mens rea to possess, loiter or use illegal substances if the subject is addicted to those substances? “[I]f there is no mens rea (of whatever degree is appropriate), then there is no just cause for the imposition of criminal penalties through the government’s monopoly on the use of lawful force.” Although “[p]rescription opioids are misused much more widely than heroin, nearly 80 percent of today’s heroin users said they formerly misused prescription opioids.” Historically, from engaging in homosexuality and adultery to overbearing criminal laws punishing otherwise innocent conduct, the legal community should ask for what purpose do we punish the diseased mind? Or, perhaps, is the addiction not a legitimate medical disease deserving of ‘special treatment,’ leniency or recognition for the criminal justice system. Societal norms, values, and mores should inform the decision. While adolescents and adults are more culpable, within and without the criminal justice system, for their behaviors, youth today (even toddlers) are offered mind-altering drugs, ‘diagnosed,’ and regularly prescribed drugs. Where many parents celebrated the death of television commercials depicting Joe Camel smoking tobacco, millions of Americans comfortably gaze into the myriad of animated figures discussing prescription medications: follow the bouncing ball, the animated pill, the big bad wolf animation…designed to attract the consumer and increase sales of prescribed pharmaceuticals. Does this overcome free will?








Why does an Attorney who knows about Addiction make a Difference?


Attorneys are trained to handle legal problems not handling mental illness and addiction. An attorney trained in addiction can utilize the leverage of the court, help navigate systems of care and quickly obtain services that may be the public may think or limited. Whether you are facing your first charge or need help in arguing for a particular sentence after a finding or plea of guilty, call the Law Offices of Cory H. Morris for an attorney experienced in handling criminal defendants who are addicted to substances or abusing substances.