Serenity Discusses the Connection Between Drugs and Crime During National Stalking Awareness Month

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We encourage the community to promote awareness of stalking and other crimes as they relate to addiction.

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When addiction is treated appropriately, as a disease that can alter brain chemistry, an individual can get treatment and make a successful recovery.

January is National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM), now in its fourteenth year, when we turn the spotlight on those who choose to lurk in the corners and commit the crime of stalking, a very real danger to many in our community. We also take a look at drug use and addiction, an often overlooked factor in stalking and other crimes.

“Stalking: know it. Name it. Stop it.”—so reads the theme for this importance observance. The National Center for Victims of Crime has partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice to educate the community about the realities of the crime of stalking: over 7.5 million individuals are stalked each year in the U.S. alone!

Apart from the crime of illicit drug use itself, drug use impacts criminal activity. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that nearly 20% of state prisoners and federal inmates, both, admitted to committing their current offense to obtain money for drugs. Theft, burglary, armed robbery, embezzlement and forgery are among the types of crimes committed directly to obtain financial resources for drugs. Addicts also report trading sexual favors to obtain drugs or drug money.

Beyond illegal activity done to obtain drugs, there is also the impact of being under the influence of drugs and committing a crime, such as driving while under the influence of drugs.

Drugs can alter behavior and impair judgment, particularly in those who become addicted. Moods and attitudes can change. An individual can become angry, obsessive, or otherwise aggressive. That behavior can lead to other crimes, such as the crime of stalking.

When addiction is treated appropriately, as a disease that can alter brain chemistry, an individual can get treatment and make a successful recovery. During treatment an addict learns the tools and mechanisms for healthy relationships.

Anyone who is being stalked, or in an unhealthy relationship where obsessive, controlling, or stalking behavior is exhibited, should seek first personal safety (for themselves and any affected children). Stalking is a crime and should not be tolerated. Then, if the offender is in need of treatment for addiction or other conditions, care can be given.

It takes a community working together to address the complex issues of crime and addiction. If you or a loved one are dependent upon drugs or alcohol, or to learn more about addiction, and get help, call 1-855-218-3775 or visit the Serenity Recovery website: http://www.serenityrehab.org

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Derry Hallmark
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