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The link between drugs and property crimes in New Hampshire

Young people are particularly vulnerable when it comes to making some bad decisions. Children and teens are still developing crucial decision-making skills and they want to test boundaries and experience new things. But many are not mature enough to understand what the consequences of their actions could be. Because of this, they may be more reckless and take more risks than many adults would.

It may not be surprising, then, when a young person gets caught up in some bad situations. This can include using drugs like heroin. And often, using drugs can put a young person in the position to get involved in more unlawful behaviors when they need to finance their habit. Out of desperation, some young people may resort to robbing someone or stealing something.

According to reports, cases involving petty theft, burglary, shoplifting and similar behaviors are on the rise in cities across New Hampshire and authorities believe that the increase is linked to drug use, as the two behaviors often go hand-in-hand. As the need to obtain drugs increases, so too could the efforts to get money to buy the drugs. And when someone is dealing with an addiction to illegal drugs, committing another crime to get those drugs may not seem like such a big deal.

However, authorities in this state are very aggressive when it comes to convicting someone for drug use or theft. They want to send a message to others by coming down hard on people, especially youthful offenders. And while rehabilitation and counseling may be effective for treating a drug addiction that may have motivated someone to steal, there is a very real chance that a young person will be facing jail time for a property crime conviction.

But because young people have a great capacity to learn from their mistakes and make positive changes, it can be quite important to help them avoid jail time and a criminal record which could haunt them for years. As adults, it can be crucial for us to remember the unique challenges that young people face and try to help them learn from their mistakes, rather than force them to live with the consequences for the rest of their lives. 

Source: New Hampshire Public Radio, "With Escalating Heroin Epidemic In Portsmouth, City's Reputation Could Be On The Line," Emily Corwin, Feb. 27, 2014

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