Many think that those who take drugs are criminals, or are in some way connected to the criminal underworld. This is usually due to the fact that most drugs are illegal and because they have been influenced by negative stereotyping of drug addiction.
It is hard for some people to comprehend the fact that drug addiction is actually an illness and that those affected are not ‘bad’ or ‘weak’ individuals. Addicts often resort to desperate measures in their attempts to get the drug they crave, and unfortunately, it is these crimes that are generally reported and that create the wrong impression that others have of those with drug addiction.
It is important to bear in mind that addiction is, in fact, an illness in the same way that diabetes is an illness. Although there is no cure for addiction, it can be treated; sadly, many people never get the help they need. This is either because they are in denial about their problem, or they just do not know how to access treatments.
Paul Grady has been struggling with addiction for many years, and while addicted, he has committed a string of offences. His latest crime has seen him sentenced to six years in prison, much to the disgust of his mother, who told the court that he should be given a chance because of his illness.
In an outburst in the courtroom, Grady’s mother said that the dealers should be locked up instead of her son. However, this is far from Grady’s first offence and the judge felt that he had no option but to impose a prison sentence.
In October 2015, Grady broke into a family home and stole £1,500 worth of goods. This included bank cards, a laptop, and a purse. After leaving the house, he tried to use the stolen cards in an ATM. While on bail for this crime, he was involved in an altercation with Alexander Street. Street had been providing a place for Grady’s girlfriend, Tia Sellick, to live.
Sellick and Grady had an argument with Street, during which they physically assaulted him and stole his money. Grady then told Street, “If you do call the police, my family will kill you – and if they don’t, I will.”
Grady’s long list of convictions includes burglary, theft and actual bodily harm. However, since being remanded in custody, he has been trying to get clean. His solicitor said that he is striving to turn his life around, adding, “He would like to live a law-abiding life and he is trying to be in a position so he can do this.”
She said, “He regrets finding himself back in prison because he wants to break that cycle. He is at the best stage of his life that he has been for a while.”
Unfortunately, judge Ben Compton QC felt that Grady posed a risk to the public if he were to be freed. He said that whenever he was out of prison, householders were in danger; therefore, he sentenced Grady to six years behind bars. Tia Sellick was given a suspended sentence for her part in the attack on Street as her solicitor asked for leniency due to her problems with drugs and the fact that she is now clean. She was, however, ordered to complete a drug rehabilitation programme. She was told by Judge Compton, “I hope that you appreciate how serious your offending is. You’re on your last chance. I understand you’ve had a bitterly sad life and started with a very difficult upbringing, but this has to stop.”
Grady’s mother was disappointed with the sentencing, and said, “They have got an illness. He never got a chance. It’s a shame you never get the dealers.”
It’s hard to beat a drug addiction, and unless those affected are ready to get help, there is not much that family members or anybody else can do. With the right help and support, however, even the most severe drug addiction can be overcome.
Watching a loved one struggling with addiction is very tough, and when the individual in question resorts to criminal activity, it can be even harder. Those who do want to turn their lives around and get clean will have to complete a programme of detoxification followed by rehab. This means committing to a programme and being willing to make the necessary changes.
For advice and information on the types of treatments we offer here at UKAT, contact us today. We can help those directly affected by drug addiction as well as their family members by providing support and advice on the next steps. Our expert advisors are waiting to hear from you.
If you successfully complete our 90-day inpatient treatment program, we guarantee you'll stay clean and sober, or you can return for a complimentary 30 days of treatment.