75 Percent of Those With Drug and Alcohol Dependency Problems Have Committed Violence, Report Says
According to the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, over 75% of individuals who enter drug treatment facilities report performing some sort of violent acts. Violence can include a very wide range of conduct, but in general it includes things like muggings, robberies, assaults, and even the use of weapons.
At the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A., we understand that a person who is charged with a criminal offense is more than the sum of the charges. A criminal defendant is merely someone who has been accused of doing something illegal, and many times drug or alcohol dependency and addiction have played a strong role in the alleged conduct.
Research Connecting Drug and Alcohol Abuse to Violence and Crime
For more than 50 years, our country has been involved in what Lyndon B. Johnson declared the “War on Crime.” Over the past half century, law enforcement and politicians have done everything they can think of to vilify so-called criminals, who in many cases are victims themselves. There are few areas of criminal justice that so clearly define this problem as chemical dependence.
According to some reports, over 20% of domestic violence attacks happen immediately after the attacker has consumed drugs or alcohol, and the majority of all domestic abusers in this country report having some drug or alcohol abuse in their past. Therefore, it’s no wonder that drugs and alcohol play a serious role in increasing the prevalence of serious and violent conduct.
The Traditional Methods Of Criminal Justice Don’t Work
Fortunately as research has continued to illuminate the issue, it has become increasingly obvious that incarcerating offenders due to drug or alcohol related crimes only serves to expand and compound the problem. Consider the following common domino effect:
- A person has a serious drinking problem and gets into a fight
- He is arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault
- Due to his arrest and conviction, he loses his job
- Without a job, the person turns to alcohol and ends up committing more serious crimes
- Now the individual has a serious record that prohibits him from living in certain places or doing certain good-paying jobs
- The individual again turns to alcohol, and the cycle continues
Options for Those With Drug or Alcohol Problems
Maryland, like many other states, is now moving toward the treatment court model, which allows minor offenders to seek medical and mental health treatment for their chemical dependency problems, rather than immediately placing them into the prison pipeline.
These drug and alcohol courts are a growing trend throughout the Nation, but it is still important to speak with an attorney before reaching any deals or agreeing to pursue justice this way. After all, in many cases if you fail to complete the lengthy and arduous process, you could end up right back at the beginning, facing serious criminal charges, and all the hard work would be for nothing.
Talk to a Lawyer About Treatment Courts
If you think a drug or alcohol treatment court may be right for you, first speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options. Remember that you can voluntarily get the medical care you need with or without the use of a court-supervised process. In many cases, it makes sense to beat the charges, then seek medical help on your own. Call Todd K. Mohink in Maryland to learn more.