Addiction and Crime

Posted on :  June 30th, 2014  |  By :  towardsrecovery

One thing that can function as a barrier to recovery from addiction is the old adage that addiction is not inherently bad – indeed, as an end in and of itself, and with no consideration for its impact on the addict’s behavior, addiction is a morally neutral phenomenon, unless the substance in question is illegal, that is.

Of course, we know that addiction cannot be isolated in this way and anyone who’s ever suffered with it, or their loved ones, will know that any behavior which compels an individual to feel desperation will have consequences that reach far beyond the individual themselves.

“This truth is best represented by the relationship between addiction and crime.”

There are numerous ways that these two interact with one another, but the three main ways in which this union plays out are as follows:

  • Charges related to the possession, distribution or production of illegal drugs, which are known as “Alcohol and Drug Defined” charges
  • Charges related to any illegal or disorderly behavior that comes about as a direct result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which are known as “Alcohol and Drug Related” charges
  • Charges related to being involved in situations that encourage or cultivate illegal behavior and activities, which are known as “Alcohol and Drug Using Lifestyle” charges

Why do so many addicts engage in illegal behavior?

For a non-addict, or from the perspective of someone who has never experienced addiction first-hand before, the illegal behavior of addicts can look downright irrational – why would an addict possibly risk something with such potentially devastating consequences for something as small and insignificant as an alcoholic beverage?

Of course, in reality, the choice to engage in such behavior is irrational, but in the eyes of a desperate addict in search of their next fix, the pros of acquiring their chosen vice far outweigh the potential risks.

Consider the starving mother who steals a loaf of bread to feed herself and her family – for our purposes, a desperate addict is this mother, in that the psychological state is the same.

What’s the solution?

Given the statistics on drug addicts who are already well within the prison system, we know for a fact that this kind of retribution doesn’t do much to tackle the real, underlying problem i.e. the addiction itself.

As a result, it’s important to look to other solutions, among them support groups, rehabilitation programs and other forms of addiction treatment and therapy.

If you or someone you know could benefit from something like this, and live in or around Hamilton, St. Catharines, or Brantford, Ontario, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Towards Recovery on 519-579-0589 to locate your nearest clinic and kick start your journey.

Make sure you have an unexpired OHIP card or call 1-866-532-3161 to find out how to get one.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.