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Increasing number of crimes driven by addiction

If your child is struggling with an addiction to drugs, it is likely that your entire family has suffered at the same time. Drug addiction is painful to watch in a beloved family member. You probably wish every day you could somehow take the pain away, but the situation never improves. Your loved one may refuse treatment, or he or she may have tried unsuccessfully on numerous occasions to get clean.

Aside from your fears for your loved one’s health, you may worry about the legal ramifications of addiction. As people decline into an all-consuming drug dependency, it is not uncommon for them to turn to crime to satisfy their habits. You know very well that your child knows right from wrong; you were the one who taught those lessons. Nevertheless, something powerful has control of your beloved now, and crime may seem to be the only way to feed it.

The cold reality of addiction and incarceration

The statistics are not encouraging. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, addiction is the catalyst for 80 percent of all crimes. Additionally, about 60 percent of those whom police arrest test positive for illegal drugs. If police recently arrested your son or daughter, you know firsthand that your child will likely not benefit from incarceration.

A conviction for a crime requires a penalty. This is how the justice system works. However, for someone struggling with addiction, time behind bars may provide a temporary drug-free period, but, according to U.S. Justice Department reports, there is a greater than 60 percent chance that your child, if convicted, will be arrested again within three years of his or her release.

Seeking hope through recovery

Jail time does not confront the real, health-related issue of chemical dependency. Your child may have tried treatment in the past, but the road to recovery is not always a straight line. Many advocates maintain that continued efforts at rehabilitating drug-addicted offenders offer hope, not only to families like yours, but also to society as a whole.

Despite a Colorado justice system jaded by a growing number of drug-related crimes, your child has rights and deserves the protection the law provides for those rights. An examination of the circumstances surrounding your child’s arrest may show if police violated your loved one’s rights before, during or after the arrest. With a strong defense, your son or daughter may receive a more positive outcome that addresses your loved one’s needs.

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