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How does addiction influence criminal behavior?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2024 | Drug Crimes |

Substance use disorder has a profound impact on both individuals and society. Often, addiction leads to a cycle of criminal activity that becomes difficult to break.

Understanding the connections between substance use disorder and drug crimes can help you navigate the next steps if you face these charges.

Compulsive drug-seeking behavior

Addiction causes individuals to compulsively seek substances to satisfy their cravings. This may lead to theft, burglary and other illicit activities to obtain funds for drugs or alcohol.

Economic strain and desperation

The financial toll of addiction can be overwhelming. Economic strain and desperation push many people to resort to drug-related crimes. This can contribute to a pattern of criminal behavior driven by the need for immediate financial relief.

Increased risk of violence

The pursuit of drugs in a dangerous environment elevates the risk of violence. Individuals involved in drug-related can become involved in violent situations. Examples include disputes over drug territory, unpaid debts or other conflicts within the drug trade.

Criminalization of addiction

Instead of addressing the root cause of addiction through rehabilitation and treatment, punishment perpetuates the cycle of criminal behavior. This can hinder efforts to break free from substance abuse.

Family disintegration

Addiction can strain relationships, leading to disintegration within households. The breakdown of family structures often results in adverse social consequences. Individuals may commit drug-related crimes as they struggle with these effects.

Involvement in organized crime

Addiction can draw individuals into the realm of organized crime. Drug trafficking, distribution and related activities become avenues for sustaining addiction. Involvement in organized crime can make it difficult to avoid illegal actions.

Legal consequences

Drug-related crimes come with arrests, convictions and incarceration. These legal repercussions can limit future employment opportunities. This can in turn encourage further criminal behavior.

A conviction for drug trafficking and related crimes can result in significant fines and prison time. You or your loved one may be eligible for substance abuse rehabilitation through Oklahoma’s drug court system. The state currently has these diversion programs in 73 of its 77 counties.