Drug crimes often tie back into addiction. People know that drugs are illegal, but they break the law because the addiction is more powerful than rationality. Many people who have accidentally gotten addicted — maybe after getting medical painkillers with a valid prescription, for instance — wish they were not addicted, but they cannot stop and do not get the help they need.

For example, addiction centers claim that around 21 million Americans have some type of addiction issues. Some have multiple addictions. Of the 21 million, just around 2.1 million (10% of the total) get the official treatment they need to break the addiction and move forward with their lives.

For the other 90%, it’s a constant struggle. If you’ve even struggled with minor dependency issues, such as a caffeine addiction, you know that breaking it feels nearly impossible. The cravings are incredibly intense. For those who are addicted to more powerful drugs, like opioids, they cannot stop themselves from doing things to fuel it. That may mean buying illegal drugs, using them when they know they have to drive later, or carrying those drugs on their person for later use. They know that all of these things are illegal, but they are not fully in control of the situation, and they are not getting the medical attention they need to really put the condition behind them.

When considering drug crimes and arrests, it is very important to think about it from all angles. This could mean working toward treatment options, rather than merely time behind bars or hefty financial fines.