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How common is theft?

Discussion in 'Heroin' started by ejclarke, May 23, 2015.

  1. ejclarke

    ejclarke Member

    Recently I was asked to help a man who had just come out of rehab. It seemed sensible because I live in a rural area, far from distractions and Heroin suppliers. He was a genuinely nice guy. Everybody liked him. After a while he did various work for myself and neighbors and seemed to be improving himself. He was not afraid of physical work and proved a competent electrician which was his trade.

    One day everything fell apart when we discovered he had been stealing. A friend who owned the local store phoned me and asked about items he had been selling to strangers outside her store. Anything from books, utensils, electric drill, even a chain saw was eventually recovered. My neighbors were furious and my reputation also suffered a little. We never caught him stealing; he was always too good at it to be caught. But several honest people returned stolen goods that were sold by him.

    This was beyond my ability to handle. I had no choice but to send him back to family, who seemed somewhat unwilling but had no choice.

    How common is this? Was he on drugs the whole time, even though just out of rehab?

    Was he perhaps a thief to begin with and this had nothing to do with drugs?

    Any information or opinions would be appreciated.
  2. bsthebenster

    bsthebenster Community Champion

    I personally don't think drugs turn a good person into a bad person. As a former user of near everything, I can say I've never stolen. A lot of drug users happen to have been raised by less than great parents though, which may play a role. But yes, a thief is (in my opinion) always a thief, high or not.
  3. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    Totally agree with you!

    Problem with people doing drugs is being socially stigmatized for the use and abuse of this, hence when someone is found stealing, people tend to believe is a background addiction story the responsible for this behavior.

    However I think drugs had nothing to do in this case, nor being a nice person makes anyone a honest man.
  4. ejclarke

    ejclarke Member

    Thanks for your replies; much appreciated.
    I wondered whether he needed money for Heroin, but feel more satisfied that he was probably a bad apple to begin with.

    Helping someone is not simple, especially when one has never stood in their shoes.

    But I will sleep a little better reasoning that I got rid of a bad apple. It was a concern that I failed someone who needed help I was unable to provide because of my lack of understanding.

    Whoever said "ignorance is bliss" needs to read this forum. I find ignorance most frustrating.
  5. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    The sad thing is that such behavior sheds a bad light on everyone else who comes out of rehab and tries to rebuild his/her life. And for that matter, it creates a stigma around any person who has had difficulties in the past with drug abuse. Did you try and find out why he stole? Obviously, he couldn't talk himself out of the fact that he was the culprit, as people recognized him selling the goods. So, what was his excuse?
    PS: I find it very noble of the people in your neighborhood to return the goods and to not involve the police with the matter. It means that not all is lost for this character. He's still got a chance to get things right.
  6. My girlfriend is a heroin addict. And yes she has stolen from me and lied about it. When she needs money she will do whatever she can to get the money. I love her but I don't know how much more I can handle. I want to help so much but it's like I keep kidding myself fime and time again that she will change.
  7. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    Hi frustraredinlove, it's obviously not an easy situation that you are in. It's like there is a third person or entity in your relationship, and that entity, called addiction, has control over your girlfriend, and over you as well. It might be time to consult a counselor or person who can bring a different perspective into your life. That person doesn't necessarily have to be an expert but someone who understands the nature of addiction and who can help your girlfriend to see that there is a need for her to change her direction in life and her habits.
    Also, you have to remember that you need to protect yourself. No matter how much you love your girlfriend, you can't help her or yourself when you constantly feel drained. Take good care of yourself.
  8. I thank you for your reply. She had been in rehab and dropped out. I've tried to get her back in rehab but she fights my efforts. I don't want to give up on her. So much pain.
  9. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    I think it can be sad, when someone has come out of rehab and resorts to stealing and sometimes it could be that they were used to doing it and thought they could make easy money selling items for themselves. I think it can be sad when someone chooses drugs and it can affect a relationship and sometimes a person has to decide is it worth staying or is the person just going to continue getting money for drugs and abuse it. People should try and change and see how it affects the ones around them and one day they will have to wake up and may then see what their actions caused.
  10. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Maybe it is really common. We had an addicted relative who stole stuffs inside the house just to have money for his vices. Also some who were caught stealing in the community were proven addicts. They steal because they are jobless and need money for their vices.
  11. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Community Champion

    It's not specific to heroin. Theft, that is. I've known alcoholics that would steal to support their habit. It happens with people who are severely addicted in the cases where they wouldn't normally behave that way but then it also happens with the type of people willing to steal sober or under the influence of something. Being under the influence just makes it a tad easier to do.
  12. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Nearly every heroin addict I have ever known has ended up resorting to stealing in order to feed their habit. At the same time, all of them changed significantly in their personality. Heroin does that to you - it changes you. They stopped caring about whether they were hurting you who they were stealing from, etc. The problem is that even if they do feel ashamed of their actions deep down inside, the heroin will make them feel better and alleviate those feelings of shame. It's a vicious cycle both emotionally and mentally. Having said that, as pointed out above, some people could be thieves before they even start using heroin in which case, they're not going to care anyway.
  13. bsthebenster

    bsthebenster Community Champion

    Fool you once, shame on her; fool you twice, shame on you!
  14. btatro

    btatro Member

    I am totally on board with the above. If a person is going to steal, they are going to do it whether or not they are under the influence of drugs. I don't believe in using drugs as an excuse for poor behavior/choices. There are exceptions to that, but for the most part I feel as though the criminal activity should be looked at separately. They are certainly correlated, I would never deny that, but one does not cause the other. Good for you, by the way, for at least attempting to be a pillar of support. I'm sorry it didn't work out, but at least you put yourself out there to try. Don't let this experience change how you handle opportunities in the future.
  15. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Heroin (former) users usually experience paranoia and other nasty things. Maybe the drug left his brain scarred, or maybe he is a kleptomaniac and had been doing drugs to compensate for this. Recovering addicts usually have a stranger behavior, but it is recommended to warn the recovery center about this.
  16. rightct

    rightct Community Champion

    I'm not quite sure I agree a person who gets out of rehab can turn out to be a bad person as opposed to what he was before, really. I've been addicted to many substances and did rehab for as many times, but never really became a bad person whatsoever.
  17. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    It's hard to say if he was on drugs the whole time. Lying, stealing, and all sorts of other nonsense are kind of a given. This behavior seems to just go along with it. It is not necessarily that drugs cause people to do this. A person's tendency to act this way is more a present state of mind where they believe that they need to act this way. It has to do more with their level of rationality. Drugs just happen to distort a person's ability to be rational. I think the deeper a person gets into to drugs the more prone they are to loose the difference between right and wrong. It directly relates to their survival. Drugs are not an excuse for the behavior they are an add on. More than likely they would do these sort of things to begin with even without the drugs.
    It really has nothing to do with rehab or drugs really. The idea of drugs and all of this going hand in hand varies from person to person. Maybe this guy got the idea to do all of this stuff from someone in rehab with him. Learned behavior. Someone could have been in a group counseling circle and talking about this. So this guy decides it's not a bad idea, I can get away with that to get myself back up. Who knows.
  18. movingforward1

    movingforward1 Active Contributor

    I've found that theft (even from loved ones) is extremely common with users of opiates such as heroin. The drug takes over and the user becomes intent upon finding any way to get it. It us especially bad with heroin because it is physically addictive. Imagine being I'll and knowing that all you have to do is steal to get your cure.
  19. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    The need for a hit is so strong that it takes over. It frequently makes people lie and steal in order to get hold of the stuff. Of course there will be some addicts for whom stealing is nothing new. But I'm pretty sure that it's something that most addicts wouldn't entertain if they didn'thave that problem.
  20. Rex

    Rex Community Champion

    Addiction, theft, violence. They all go hand in hand with one another. Its a slippery slope and these people need help and a firm hand.
    lilfaerie28 likes this.