Teenagers busted for possession, adults busted for trafficking, cops busted for stealing drugs from corona rehabilitation center evidence lockers – every day of the week there are dozens of news stories about drug-related crime. A few of the crimes are purely for money, but most are crimes to support drug habits – arrests, fines, jail terms and ongoing addictions that could be avoided if someone helped these people decide to get into drug rehab instead.
Here’s a little tour of the country, a smattering from a single day’s news. It’s disturbing to see that most of today’s drug crime stories concern the deadly and addictive opiate prescription painkiller OxyContin:
Olympia, WA: A 40-year-old friend of the family supplied their 16-year-old daughter with OxyContin and Vicodin pills to consume herself and sell at school and split the profits with him. Contributing to a teenager’s – or anyone’s – opiate addiction should be a crime in itself. Her life could have been changed forever, even with drug rehab.
Austin, MN: An Austin police officer who was about to take the oath of office for the Austin School Board is instead facing felony charges for allegedly stealing OxyContin from the police evidence locker. The second-ranking officer on the force, he stole the drugs the same day he was elected to the school board. If convicted of a felony, he’ll lose his job, his school board seat, and his life will be in ruins. Drug rehab could help him to begin recovering his life as he knew it.
Anderson Township, OH: A man walked into a Walgreens pharmacy and after announcing he had a gun, walked out with 90 OxyContin pills. Cops think it’s the same guy who pulled a similar OxyContin heist at a CVS pharmacy in nearby Springdale on New Year’s Eve. The manhunt continues, but this guy is going to need drug rehab if he lives long enough. OxyContin can be a deadly addiction.
Yarmouth, MA: A man high on heroin led police on a high speed chase through four towns before being arrested by Yarmouth police. The cops had to put down Stop Sticks – those mats with spikes to puncture tires – to stop him. But then he fled on foot, and had to be chased down before finally being arrested. Drugs make people do stupid, crazy and dangerous things. This man is definitely a candidate for drug rehab.
Poughkeepsie, NY: A 39-year-old man faces 18 months in jail for selling heroin to an undercover policeman – a felony conviction. How dumb can you get? Under state law, this guy faced a lengthy mandatory prison term because he had already been convicted of another felony within the last 10 years. He entered a plea of guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. If this person has a real friend, they should get him into a drug rehab program where he can examine his life and make some serious changes.
Boston MA: A huge, 14-month investigation is underway at the Boston Police Department following the discovery that drugs confiscated in nearly 1, 000 cases over 16 years are missing from the central drug depository. The drugs included cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and OxyContin (the OxyContin was replaced with a substance similar to Tylenol or aspirin).
The decision to begin meddling with drugs is never made with crime in mind, or drug rehab, for that matter. Nevertheless, drug crimes occur in cities, towns and villages across the country every day. Millions are addicted, more addicts are made every day, and crime becomes the only way to support the habit. The solution to both crime and addiction for addicts caught in the drug-and-crime trap is more help from family, friends and the community in providing a drug rehab program when it’s first needed, before things get completely out of control.