Addiction, especially drug abuse, is said to be one of the major reasons that someone commits an offense against the law. As addiction takes hold on a person he or she becomes consumed with getting and using the drug. Often times a person will spend all of their money on the drug and still want more the next day, but eventually, the money runs out. This is why so many people turn to robbery, stealing from loved ones and even offering sex for drugs or money. It is a scary truth about addiction that must be addressed. Risky behaviors during addiction is not uncommon, if you or someone you care for have committed some risky behaviors it is important to know that forgiveness is possible.
The Drug Addict’s Brain
If a sober person knows what is going on around him and could control his emotions or reactions over a certain situation, how about the drug addict?
Psychology Today revealed that substance abuse could lead to mental health conditions. The addict might experience both depression and anxiety.
It was further discussed that drug addiction, and even gambling behavior affects the “executive functions” of someone’s brain. With this condition, the behavior of an addict is correlated with the behavior he or she shows.
Having lost sobriety, the addicted individual is often guided by the principle of reward and reinforcement. As days go by, an addict feels the urge to satisfy themselves, as they continuously pursue activities that would give them pleasure.
Addiction and Commission of Crime
A study published on Research Gate disclosed the connection between drug addiction and criminality. It noted that there is an indirect correlation between addiction, particularly to heroin, and aggressive behavior.
Based on the study results, heroin addicts are mainly involved in crimes against property and people (including those close to the addicts). They also have the tendency to hurt themselves.
Accordingly, they are more likely to commit several forms of theft – shoplifting, robbery, and burglary. Meanwhile, when it comes to the aggressiveness of behavior, the addicted persons become impulsive towards violence and tend to resort to rage whenever they feel offended.
Not only is robbery and burglary a problem among addicted individuals, so is prostitution. This risky behavior is common among people who struggle with substance abuse as it is a fast way to get money for their habit. It also could seem easier or take less guts than robbing a store. In a study of over 200 prostitutes, the prevalence of substance abuse was high. This is a very risky behavior that could cause in an unwanted pregnancy, a life threatening STD, or even death.
While they are feared to hurt others, you should know, too, that their own selves are not safe from their capacity to inflict pain. Statistics showed that the cause of death between 10% and 35% of heroin addicts is suicide, while 40% of them admitted to having tried killing themselves.
The study likewise narrated that whether the heroin abuser has borderline personality disorder (BDP) or antisocial personality disorder (APD), they both have the tendency to be impulsive. However, those who are naturally shy are less likely to be aggressive.
In short, you can summarize that addiction (in this case, to heroin), could fuel aggressiveness; that they become more fearless to do things they may not be capable of doing when they are sober.
Addiction, a Brain Disease?
As you continue to wonder where an addict gets his guts to commit crimes, a new definition has been given to addiction. According to a report, this condition is already considered a brain disease. Therefore, it is no longer about having a bad attitude or a wrong choice.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) noted that the bad behavior an addict shows is just a result of an underlying serious mental illness.
ASAM past president, Dr. Michael Miller, said that criminal acts are not merely caused by addiction. It could be attributed to the person’s neurological illness.
Being a chronic disease, addiction has been likened to a cardiovascular disease. And as a primary illness, it has been described as a condition that is not brought by another medical concern. Therefore, it is already a major ailment in itself.
If you are getting used to doing something, the activity no longer excites you over time. It becomes just a regular task, right? Just like with drugs, when an addict is constantly taking it, he or she develops tolerance eventually.
As the brain adapts to the drug, the pleasure it brings wanes. This pushes the brain to crave for more in order to satisfy its reward center.
While this scenario continues, the one addicted to drugs tends to consume more making his addiction worse. This could explain why he or she would rob or even resort to prostitution to get more of the drug.
Addiction and Rehabilitation
About one of every 10 Americans is reportedly into drug or alcohol addiction. This means that almost 23 million citizens of the US are involved with substance abuse.
Amid the fact that addiction is being seen as a chronic disease, it is still not a dead end. Getting help for addiction is the next step to address it. Several rehab facilities can be approached for treatment.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) pointed out that certain interventions and medications can be done to suppress the symptoms of withdrawal and prevent relapse.
Behavioral treatment, including counseling, is made as well so that the patient’s rehabilitation has higher chances to succeed. The sessions with the behavioral health counselor could help an addict improve his or her disposition and attitude towards life. The constant trips to the medical practitioner could also increase the desire and commitment to adopt a healthy lifestyle and continue the medication.
The organization noted, though, that although treatment against addiction is available, the process is not easy. A successful treatment needs to undergo several steps; from detoxification to treatment and long-term follow-up to ensure that the patient would not experience a relapse.
Doing the First Step to Recovery
Thinking about approaching a facility for rehabilitation is a sign that an addict has already recognized the need to bring his or her sobriety back.
By doing this highly important first step, the vital next steps are surely underway.
Nevertheless, a relapse is said to be inevitable at times. Thus, certain adjustments must be made in order to address the concern.
While some may consider a relapse as a complete failure on the part of the rehab center or practitioner, this is actually the real case. NIDA cited in another report that a relapse does not necessarily mean that the interventions have failed. It simply means that further evaluation and modification must be made.
With drug addiction being a serious social concern, it is recommended that appropriate inventions are carried out so that recovery will be sustained. At the end of it all, the goal is to save the person from addiction and behaviors that might lead him or her towards becoming a criminal.