When drug addiction takes hold, it can slowly eat away at a person’s life and cause them to sink into a world they might never have thought possible. From the minute they become dependent on the drug, nothing else matters except scoring the next ‘fix’. Things that were once important are relegated to the back of their minds and the sole purpose in life is to get from one high to the next.
It is a terrible way to live but the compulsion to take the drug is so strong that affected individuals are simply not in control of their actions. They will often lie, cheat, and steal to get the drug they desire, without any regard for the consequences of their actions. Addiction is a powerful illness that causes those who suffer from it to do things they would not have previously done. They will hurt their family by continuing to take drugs, as they just have no control over the cravings that consume them. In some instances, they will steal to enable them to get money for drugs. Inevitably, innocent people will pay the price.
This is exactly what happened to Brian Lowrie from Chatham last August (2014). The elderly man was targeted by two drug addicts who conned their way into his home and then stole from him in order to fund their drug habit. Tanya Riley and Theresa Bagnall persuaded Lowrie to give them the code to the key safe outside his door. The next day Lowrie’s carer arrived and saw that the key safe was unlocked and open and that money was missing from Lowrie’s wallet.
Both Bagnall and Riley have previous convictions and they admitted to robbing Lowrie. Riley wrote expressing her remorse over the crime and said, “I have been on drugs from the age of 16 and abused alcohol from the age of 13. I have never had help before. I now think it is time to accept help. I have been brought up with abuse, alcohol, and drugs. I am not asking for sympathy and not making excuses. I am simply asking to give me a chance.”
Riley’s defence lawyer spoke of how there had been a noticeable change in her and how she had been reviewing her life thanks to time spent in prison.
It is good that Riley feels shame and guilt over her crime because it shows that she understands the severity of it. Targeting a vulnerable and elderly man is a shameful act and shows just how strong the urge can be to get cash to pay for drugs. Addiction is an illness and those who suffer with it need to be treated and helped in order to beat it.
Addicts who resort to criminal behaviour often do so because they simply have no other options open to them in terms of getting their hands on the drug they desire. Addiction can interfere with a person’s ability to do their job or go about their daily lives and many of them will end up on the streets with no means of accessing money. Their only option then may be to steal, beg, or cheat to get money for drugs.
There is help available for addiction and getting this help early can help individuals to avoid a life of crime. If you have an addiction and want to get help, contact Rehab Helper for advice and support. We can help you get into a rehabilitation centre with access to necessary treatments. Call us today for free, confidential help.