Drug use relates to crime in many different ways. Some studies indicate that as much as 80% of crime is linked to drugs in some way, whether the abuser was under the influence of a substance at the time of the crime or his arrest, or the crime was committed as a result of drugs or as drug seeking behavior.
The Office of the National Drug Control Policy indicates that those who are drug dependent show higher likelihoods of remaining on the US criminal justice radar (on probation or incarcerated) and that addicted inmates account for majority of the United States’ incarcerated population.
Drug Abuse Drives Criminal Behavior
One of the direct ways drug use produces criminal activity is by mere use, possession and distribution of controlled, illicit substances. Law enforcement does not deal lightly with possession charges, and such individuals automatically become labeled as a criminal, though their actions indicate a serious underlying condition in need of treatment.
Immoral, criminal or shady behavior can surround addiction as direct reactions from drug use or withdrawal, or because of intense drug cravings. This behavior may manifest in the form of,
- Stealing or petty theft (from loved ones or businesses)
- Violence or physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug trafficking or dealing
- Driving under the influence of drugs
Sadly, many criminal offenders who are also drug abusers return to jail or prison, or are arrested again after their release. Such repeat offenders have little chance of escaping this cycle of re-arrests unless interventional drug treatment measures are implemented.
Why do Addicts Become Drug Dealers?
Many addicts turn to dealing as a means of maintaining their own habits as their addictions grow more severe. Rebecca, a recovered heroin addict, turned to dealing when her full-time job wasn’t enough to support her heroin.
“Being a female in the drug world, there are only a few options when it comes to supporting a drug habit,” says Rebecca. “When I learned that my paycheck would only support two or three days’ worth of heroin, I chose to sell drugs. In my case, I found myself dealing weed, heroin, and crack to help support my own habit. I didn’t do it because I intended to harm the people I sold to; I did it because it was a way to make money and maintain my habit without outright stealing.”
Thankfully Rebecca was able to stop using and dealing drugs after she completed heroin treatment at Narconon Arrowhead.
Solutions for Drug-Driven Criminal Behavior
Sadly, many addicts turn to dealing as a way to support their habits. To address this, Narconon drug treatment helps addicts regain control of their lives through comprehensive rehab and then offers individuals the opportunity to restore their own moral and codes.
“One of the key elements of Narconon treatment is having addicts really take responsibility for their actions,” says Derry Hallmark, Senior Director For Expansion at Narconon Arrowhead. “Deep down, people are basically good and they feel guilty for actions that they know have hurt others. Narconon drug treatment gets to the root of this and helps put addicts on the road to survival in all areas of their lives.”
Throughout the Narconon program, participants are afforded chances to make amends, rebuild relationships and repair past misdoings with family, friends, loved ones and groups. Most importantly, this severe guilt is addressed, giving an addict a fresh start.