By Staff Writer
In addition to destroying the lives of drug users, cocaine addiction and other forms of substance abuse can cause a range of other problems throughout a community. For example, it can also lead to an increase in many types of crime, experts say.
Kevin Joyce, the sheriff of Cumberland County, Maine, told the Portland News-Herald that he and other law enforcement officers throughout the state have reported increases in burglaries and thefts over the course of the past year. State figures show that these incidences have risen dramatically since 2009.
In many cases, thieves who break into homes are bypassing computers, televisions, and other valuable electronics and looking only for prescription pills and money, Joyce told the news source. He suspects that efforts to find drugs or the cash to buy them with are the leading causes behind the state’s rising crime rates.
The group Human Rights Watch estimates that about 22 percent of the nation’s prison population consists of drug offenders, which is among the top reasons for incarceration. Addressing the country’s addiction problem and helping individuals find rehab treatment may lead to fewer crimes.