2011 5h1_4



§5H1.4.     Physical Condition, Including Drug or Alcohol Dependence or Abuse; Gambling Addiction (Policy Statement)

Physical condition or appearance, including physique, may be relevant in determining whether a departure is warranted, if the condition or appearance, individually or in combination with other offender characteristics, is present to an unusual degree and distinguishes the case from the typical cases covered by the guidelines.  An extraordinary physical impairment may be a reason to depart downward; e.g., in the case of a seriously infirm defendant, home detention may be as efficient as, and less costly than, imprisonment.

Drug or alcohol dependence or abuse ordinarily is not a reason for a downward departure.  Substance abuse is highly correlated to an increased propensity to commit crime.  Due to this increased risk, it is highly recommended that a defendant who is incarcerated also be sentenced to supervised release with a requirement that the defendant participate in an appropriate substance abuse program (see §5D1.3(d)(4)).  If participation in a substance abuse program is required, the length of supervised release should take into account the length of time necessary for the probation office to judge the success of the program.

In certain cases a downward departure may be appropriate to accomplish a specific treatment purpose.  See §5C1.1, Application Note 6.

In a case in which a defendant who is a substance abuser is sentenced to probation, it is strongly recommended that the conditions of probation contain a requirement that the defendant participate in an appropriate substance abuse program (see §5B1.3(d)(4)).

Addiction to gambling is not a reason for a downward departure.

Historical Note:  Effective November 1, 1987.  Amended effective November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 386); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix C, amendment 569); October 27, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 651); November 1, 2010 (see Appendix C, amendment 739).