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How does illicit substance abuse lead to other crimes? 

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2023 | Drug Crimes

Drug addiction is a powerful force, and most medical professionals recognize it as a disease. Unfortunately, drug addiction is a common problem.

While the possession of illicit drugs is a crime in its own right, those suffering from drug addiction sometimes find themselves in situations that spiral out of control as their addiction carries them down a path toward additional criminal activity. Why does this happen? Here’s what you should know:

Withdrawal can lead to poor judgment and desperation

Drugs are substances that change the chemical balance in the body and brain. Many drugs are made to treat medical conditions. For example, someone with ADHD may take daily prescribed medicine to help them focus. Illegal drugs are often used by people who are desperate to cope with some condition of their own, whether that’s anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, some other kind of mental illness or physical pain. 

Whether a drug was administered in a hospital, prescribed by a doctor or acquired illegally by a dealer, most drugs have adverse effects when they’re suddenly stopped — and the withdrawal symptoms can be intense. Withdrawal can cause intense physical illness, emotional imbalances and disordered thinking or hallucinations, so people can become desperate to stop it from happening — and that can lead them to do things they wouldn’t normally do, including robberies, muggings and the like. 

It’s often harder for people abusing drugs to realize the consequences of their actions. Many people who use drugs as coping mechanisms often do so because they’re suffering from mental disorders. Criminal punishment, instead of treatment, doesn’t help. People facing drug possession or criminal charges related to their drug use can benefit from learning more about their defense options, including potential diversion programs.