Why Treatment for Addiction is Preferable to Prison

Addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine can be a destructive force that leads to the breakdown of relationships, financial hardship, and illness. Many people who develop a dependency on these drugs will find that they think of nothing else except their next fix; this can often cause marriages to breakdown and children to be taken into care.

Some people will do absolutely anything to get the drug they crave, and may beg, borrow, or steal to find the money to pay for their next fix. Some will get into trouble with loan sharks or will end up owing drug dealers big sums of money for drugs they have been given. Once they find themselves in these desperate situations, they may resort to crime in order to find a way out.

Mobile Phone Smuggling

This is exactly what happened to Kelly Sperling who was arrested and charged with trying to smuggle a mobile phone into a prison in East Yorkshire. Sperling was told that if she smuggled the phone in, she would be relieved of her £700 drug debt.

However, on arrival at the prison, she was strip-searched and the device was found. The Prison Service had been given ‘intelligence’ that Sperling was planning to smuggle the phone in and, on the authority of the prison governor, was searched on arrival. She was then arrested and questioned. Sperling admitted that she had tried to smuggle the phone in to the prison in an attempt to rid herself of the debt she had accrued.

Suspended Sentence

During the court case, the judge told Sperling that had she been smuggling drugs in, she would have received an automatic prison sentence. He said that she had no doubt been told that women were not sent to prison but that was incorrect. However, he felt that tackling her drug addiction would better serve the public than to send her straight to prison. He sentenced her to three months in prison but suspended this for twelve months. She also received a twelve-month supervision order with a requirement for her to undertake a drug-mentoring programme for six months.

Crime and Drugs

Taking illegal drugs is a crime, as is supplying them. However, there are many other crimes committed every day that are linked to drugs. Drug addicts will often steal to find the money to get drugs, and many people under the influence of drugs will become aggressive and violent, with many arrested for assault or damage to property.

Prison Sentences for Drug Crimes

It would be all too easy to sentence everyone to prison for crimes committed while under the influence of drugs but this would not be the best solution. It is always better to try to treat the addiction first, as in the case of Sperling. Many crimes are only committed out of desperation by those who cannot control their addiction. Many of these people would never think of committing such acts if they were not in the grips of a terrifying addiction.

Getting Help for Addiction

Addiction is an illness that requires treatment. Those with a drug addiction cannot control their need for the substance that they are addicted to. They need help to learn how to live without the drugs and help on how to handle situations that would previously have caused them to turn to drugs. If you or a loved one has a drug addiction and need help, call Addiction Helper today. Our team of expert counsellors will provide you with information on drug addiction and how to get the help required to beat it. Addiction politics is a problematic topic, but we can assist you with understanding everything about it.

Source: Brief Report

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