I don't think you would get life in prison in New Jersey for a 5th DUI. It appears a man in Texas wasn't so lucky. He was found guilty of his 5th DUI and the judge sentenced him to life in jail. I guess they are not messing around in Texas.
Quite often I represent individuals charged with a drug related offense. Most times I am dealing with the individual charged. Maybe they admit they have a problem. Maybe they don't. Then there are other times when the family of the person charged is the one hiring me. They hire me to represent their loved one, but end up also having me hold their hand through the ongoing addiction the family member is facing. Some enter rehab and come out much better. Some can't afford rehab.
A recent NPR story covered a man out of Philadelphia with a drug addiction to opioids. Life was not good so this was his way of escaping. He couldn't afford treatment. There were public waiting lists for state and city funded programs, but those were long. He ended up in jail. He could has tried to obtain drugs, since it was easy to obtain in his jail. However, he decided to try to detox on his own. He didn't ask for help from the jail medical unit. So he began this journey on his own without any medical assistance to help with the withdrawal symptoms. He described his detox as having the flu. He sweated and shook. His heart raced. Then the vomiting began. He couldn't sleep and spent days wishing he was dead. Through all of this, he kept reminding himself that he was not going to take drugs even though it would be easier to stop the madness. He finally made it through. But then came the temptation since drugs were everywhere in jail.
Professionals tell us that the biggest problem with detoxing is that one manages to successfully get the drugs out of their system and as they are battling the temptation to use again and void the pain they are feeling, there is a high risk of overdosing because you resort to the amount of drugs you used before detoxing. Except now your tolerance level is down from the detox, but you don't realize this.
Have medical help while trying to fight this habit is essential. There is counseling needed to stop the cycle. There is medical help needed to watch you don't kill or dehydrate yourself. It is just a shame that our society does not freely and easily help those addicted and allow better access to treatment given that most drug addicted do not have health insurance to cover the stay.