Stating that prescription drug abuse can lead to criminal behavior and burglary may seem far-fetched to some, but there is statistical evidence showing the link between these two issues. In many locations where there has been an increase in crime rates and criminal activity, there has also been an increase in prescription drug abuse during the same time-frame.
Pharmacy robberies and home burglaries have steadily increased in areas where drug abuse and addiction are a problem. Law enforcement officials and Departments of Public Safety report that burglaries are not the only criminal activity that increases where prescription drug abuse is widespread –murder, larceny, arson, motor vehicle thefts, domestic violence, sexual assault, and aggravated assault are also more frequent in regions with heavy prescription drug abuse.
Prescription drug abuse and addiction is rampant in the United States, and this is fueling the jump in burglaries across the nation. Aside from pharmacy break-ins, people are now breaking into homes to steal both prescription drugs and money. To these burglars, prescription drugs are just as good as money. Obviously, people breaking into a pharmacy are set on stealing prescription drugs. It is not clear whether individuals are breaking into homes solely for prescription drugs or if these substances are just on a burglars “grocery list” while looking for valuables to take from someone’s home.
Prescription drugs are in high-demand. Better drug monitoring programs are now in-place and it is harder for individuals to obtain prescription drugs than it used to be. Addicts who are turned away from a doctor or pharmacist may be desperate enough to steal prescription pads, steal another person’s drugs, and eventually break into a home or store when they are unable to feed the cravings from their addiction.
Addiction is a serious illness that will consume the person affected. His thoughts, feelings, and behaviors will become dependent on the addiction and fueled by the need to maintain both a physical dependency and psychological need to continue using. When symptoms of withdrawal begin to affect an addicted individual who stops using a prescription drug, it becomes imperative to fight-off these symptoms, which can range from uncomfortable to intolerable, such as:
For serious addicts, the need to feed a psychological compulsion or obsession is just as dominating. An addict can only think about his drug of choice, where he will get it, who he will use with, what he will do when he is using, etc. Feeding a prescription drug addiction isn’t about the desire to “get high” and have a sociable time with friends, it is an activity that seems as necessary as eating or drinking. While committing burglary and other crimes to obtain more of a prescription drug may seem far-fetched, it can seem like a small risk for someone in desperate need of a fix.