An Unexpected Source of Crime

Nice neighbourhood

When you think of drug addicts in your neighbourhood, you may get the image of a shady dealer on the street corner or menacing individuals down alleyways. In reality, though, that is not what drug dealing looks like anymore.

Addicts often get drugs from their own doctor, from the medicine cupboard, from friends or off the internet. Being able to pinpoint who a dealer or an addict is, can be tricky. But, there is something that goes hand in hand with addiction: Criminal Acts.

A growing addiction requires a growing amount of cash. At some point, cash to hand runs out and that’s when you see theft or other crimes.

A graduate from one of the American Narconon center told us this:

“When you start doing drugs, you never think about how much it will cost you in all ways, not just the money. One thing that is for sure, is that the habit always grows and no matter how much you try to stop buying it, someone always has a ‘deal’ for you or will spot you this week, as long as you make it up next week. Addicts get creative in finding money sources.” – C.L

An addict cannot go many hours or days before the next hit without being struck by sickness and withdrawal symptoms. Drugs are expensive, and it can get to hundreds of pounds a day just to keep the habit going. Crime is normally a last resort, but for too many addicts that is the situation they end up in.

Usually, the easiest money to grab at first is the cash or credit cards from a partner or parent. Then maybe its cash lying around at work or at a friend’s house. It can then turn to theft of phones, jewellery or electronics.

You may lock your house against the shady criminal, but don’t think much of the neighbour’s son coming by your house… and that’s the real problem. No one wants to distrust their neighbours although that may be where the crime really comes from.

Easy items for addicts to steal and sell on include:

  • Gift cards and presents
  • Cheque-books and blank cheques
  • Credit cards, lost credit cards, or new credit cards being sent to your home
  • Jewellery and watches
  • Phones or electronics
  • Designer or expensive clothes, purses and bags that can be resold at shops or online
  • Tools, power tools and lawn mowers
  • Bicycles and scooters


Know the signs of addiction, don’t be blinded by stereotypes and realise it could be weed or painkillers rather than coke or heroin causing the addiction. Drug abuse has indicators and they should be known. That way the addict can get help and not remain a secret criminal in your midst.

Keep the neighbourhood safe, if you don’t have a neighbourhood watch programme, try and set one up, or if there is one, join in and make sure everyone is educated on this possible source of crime. It is a mistake to think that break-ins or theft always come from a ‘bad neighbourhood’ or ‘the troubled kids’—it could be your own son.

Keep things locked up, lock up your house when you leave, and at night. Don’t leave cash or valuables lying around. Remember neighbours see your habits and can learn to maximise on any weaknesses.

If you do find someone stealing or causing crime in your neighbourhood, don’t just condemn them, find out the true cause of the crime. People usually resort to crime as a last resort, and addiction is a huge cause.

To truly help this person, prison may not be the answer. Help get the person into a good rehabilitation programme, where the downward cycle of addiction can be stopped in its tracks and a healthier life returned to.

For help regarding addiction or rehabilitation, please contact us on
00800 802 1375


Narconon UK

Welcome to Narconon United Kingdom At Narconon, we are dedicated to one thing: helping you overcome addiction for good. Part of what makes this possible is the Narconon environment. Every detail has been taken into account to give you the stability and comfort to help you free yourself from addiction and rebuild your life without drugs.