Drug Crime Statistics

Over 60 percent of people arrested for non-drug crimes test positive for at least one drug. That doesn’t necessarily mean that drug use causes criminal behavior, but there’s no question that many people behave differently under the influence. Or that many people with substance use disorder resort to stealing, forging prescriptions, or other illegal actions to obtain money for more drugs (drug money is the motive for over 15 percent of property crimes). Today, we’d like to discuss major drug crime statistics in the United States.

About Drug Crime

Many drug crime arrests involve someone who did nothing more criminal than carrying small amounts of a banned substance: over a million people are arrested in the U.S. each year for drug law violations, and over 86 percent of these arrests are for “possession of a controlled substance.” Many organizations advocate for the decriminalization of this particular offense, arguing exaggeration of its dangers, disproportionate prosecution of minorities, and—especially now that marijuana is legal in some states and not others—the unfairness of attaching “criminal” labels to what was obtained legally elsewhere, perhaps even through medical prescription.

There is, however, another issue to consider: many people commit possession offenses because they have substance use disorder. And, after being arrested, two major problems instead of one. Nearly two-thirds of people jailed in the U.S. (for any offense) also suffer from addiction.

Drug Courts

Thankfully, most jurisdictions now recognize that addiction is an illness, better treated than punished. Anyone who is arrested for drug possession, and suspects that he or she also has an addiction, should ask a lawyer to request medical evaluation plus referral to a “drug court”—a program designed to consider the addiction problem and set guidelines for treatment-based alternatives to criminal prosecution. Specifics vary, but most drug courts fit one of the following categories:

  • Pre-plea: court-supervised treatment in exchange for a full stay of prosecution
  • Post-plea: a guilty plea followed by court-supervised treatment, after which all criminal charges are dropped
  • Post-adjudication: court-supervised treatment after conviction, during which time additional sentences are suspended.

In every case, there will be conditions for completing treatment successfully, and violating those conditions will mean resumption of the criminal-law process.

Drug Crime and New Beginnings

Although it may feel like the end of the world to be arrested on drug crime charges, if you have a chemical dependency, it may be the best thing that can happen. An addiction denied is an addiction untreated, and an untreated addiction will likely get worse until it leads to financial and personal ruin, or death from overdose or illness. Being charged with a crime makes it impossible to ignore the problem any longer, and may well prove the factor that finally leads to treatment and recovery.

If you’re facing a day in drug court:

  • Follow your lawyer’s advice.
  • Respect the authorities and experts. Don’t demand anything of anybody, and don’t try to argue that the laws are unfair or there’s nothing wrong with you.
  • Understand the terms of your court-mandated treatment (which may include regular drug tests, a minimum number of weekly therapy appointments, and restrictions on driving or other privileges), and follow the rules. Any deviation could result in a return to court and perhaps a jail sentence.
  • Don’t expect treatment to be completed quickly or with initial detox. Effective recovery from drug addiction requires weeks or months of counseling, major life changes, and taking steps to prevent relapse.
  • Get a thorough physical checkup and a psychiatric evaluation, if they aren’t already required as part of your treatment. The drug use may have done undetected physical damage, and many people with substance use disorder also have other mental health disorders to address.
  • Get your family involved if at all possible. They likely will require help understanding your addiction problem and what you need.
  • Remember that, even after treatment is completed and your record clean, addiction recovery is a lifelong journey. You can’t go back to the old “business as usual,” but you can go forward into a better and more effective life. Practice expecting good things to happen.

A Place for Understanding and Healing

For men troubled by the pain and shame of drug addiction—with or without an arrest record—PACE Recovery offers a safe, nonjudgmental setting in which to recover and prepare for a better future.

We specialize in dual diagnosis treatment for those who have substance use disorder combined with other mental disorders such as depression.

PACE stands for “Positive Attitude Changes Everything,” which we emphasize in our commitment to treating the whole person and focusing on his future. Contact us today to begin your recovery.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Its popularity is increasing, but so are the potential safety issues involved in a substance known as Delta-8 THC. The product can be dangerous on many levels so it’s important to understand what Delta-8 THC is and how it can affect a person who consumes it.

Delta-8 THC

A psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol is more popularly known as Delta-8 THC. It is one of over 100 cannabinoids that are produced naturally by the cannabis plant but are not found in the plant in significant amounts. Concentrated amounts of Delta-8 THC are usually manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol or CBD.

Not Evaluated by the FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not evaluated or approved Delta-8 THC products for safety. In fact, the products may be marketed for consumption in ways that actually put individuals’ health at risk.

There are growing concerns around the Delta-8 THC products that are currently being sold, both online and in stores. Some of these concerns include the variability in the way the product is formulated and labeled. These products may contain other cannabinoid and plant oils with variable Delta-8 THC concentrations. Labels may simply say “hemp products,” and that can mislead individuals who typically associate hemp products with non-psychoactive products.

The FDA is further concerned about products containing the substance that are marketed for medical or therapeutic uses. Consumers can be at risk when consuming these products. The organizations that sell the products using these marketing techniques, claiming unsubstantiated therapeutic benefits, are violating federal law. Individuals who use the unproven substance Delta-8 THC to treat serious or even fatal diseases can be at significant risk.

Adverse Event Reports

The danger of consuming Delta-8 THC products has been shown in the number of adverse event reports received by the FDA. Over a twenty month period, from December 2020 through July 2021, the FDA received a number of reports of individuals who experienced hallucinations, vomiting, difficulties standing, and a loss of consciousness. Most of these individuals consumed the substance in edibles such as brownies and gummies.

In addition, national poison control centers received 660 exposure cases of Delta-8 THC products between January 1, 2021, and July 31, 2021. Of the cases received:

  • 41% involved unintentional exposure to Delta-8 THC
  • 77% of these unintentional exposures affected pediatric patients under the age of 18
  • 39% of the total cases involved pediatric patients under the age of 18
  • 18% required hospitalizations, including children who were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) following exposure to these products. 

Some of the side effects involved in the use of Delta-8 THC include rapid heart rate, red eyes, trouble with coordination, dry mouth, slowed reaction times, memory loss, and anxiety. Since it is synthetically produced, one of the major dangers of using the substance is not knowing exactly what the product contains.

Production Involves Potentially Harmful Chemicals

Since the natural amount of Delta-8 THC in hemp is low, additional chemicals are necessary to convert the other cannabinoids in hemp, including CBD, into the final product. There are many concerns with this process, including the fact that some manufacturers use potentially unsafe household chemicals to make the substance.

The synthetic process may also involve other chemicals used to change the color of the final product, which can have potentially harmful effects, especially when combined with other chemicals. The biggest danger is that there is significant uncertainty as to exactly which potential contaminants may be present in a product.

The chemicals used to make the Delta-8 THC can be very harmful to an individual. This is especially true when the manufacturing process takes place in an uncontrolled or unsanitary setting. Additional harmful substances and unsafe contaminants can find their way into the final product in these situations, causing even greater danger to the person consuming the substance.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

We want you to be safe and healthy. When you are addicted to a dangerous and unregulated drug such as Delta-8 THC, we can help. At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Why Men Hide Their Feelings

Men are often hesitant to express their true emotions, which can lead to serious issues in their lives. They may be viewed as cold or distant. They can even develop mental health issues when attempting to suppress how they truly feel. There are a number of reasons why men hide their feelings.

Gender Differences in Emotion Words

Emotional diversity is important to a person’s mental health. Individuals who experience a diversity of both positive and negative emotions tend to report fewer symptoms of issues such as depression. Emotions serve as a guidepost for the human experience, as they draw attention to the important markers in an individual’s environments, acting as warning signs of things that need to be noticed, processed, or changed.

However, research has suggested that emotionally diversity is not fostered in young boys. In one study of conversations between mothers and their young children, the mothers who interacted with daughters used an emotion vocabulary of greater depth and density. The mothers’ conversations with sons tended to focus on a single emotion, anger.

A Narrower Range of Emotions

Boys tend to grow up in a world focused on a narrow range of emotions. Anger is typically the emotion that is noticed and perhaps even cultivated among young males. The other emotions, especially those that indicate vulnerability, are ignored or are missing as their young minds develop.

The lack of emotional diversity in young males can have long-term problematic consequences, perhaps helping to explain why men hide their feelings. As boys who avoid strong emotions grow up, they are more likely to have issues with school and even engage in health-risk behaviors such as substance use. When those boys mature into men, they tend to suppress their emotions more than women, which can lead them to experience symptoms of depression.

Aggressive behavior can also develop when men hide their feelings, as they experience trouble regulating their emotions. The skills that enable an individual to control their emotions are gained through practice so when a man did not have that experience growing up, he may feel he does not have permission to experience and express a full range of emotions in a healthy manner.

Discouraging Displays of Emotion

Likewise, when men are growing up they are exposed to messages that discourage them from expressing any emotions other than anger. At the same time, they are encouraged to act dominant in any given situation. A young boy who expresses his feelings may hear responses from adults in his life such as “boys don’t cry” or “don’t cry like a girl.” He might be told to “man up” or to “be a man and get over it.”

Even when experiencing a painful physical injury, a young man may think he is not supposed to show emotions as he has learned to avoid expressing his real feelings. He will then begin to bottle up his frustration and sadness. Over time, this behavior can lead to a dysfunctional emotional expression as well as mental health issues such as depression.

Different Symptoms of Depression

An understanding of why men hide their feelings can lead to an understanding of what they go through when they are experiencing the symptoms of depression. A man can have very different depression symptoms than a woman. Men who are depressed may appear to be aggressive or anger rather than sad, given their training that has taught them to suppress their emotions.

Even though depression affects a large number of men, they are less likely than women to talk about their depression and to seek treatment for their mental health concerns. Men can become irritable or very tired, losing interest in their family and work. They may have more difficulty sleeping when they experience depression than women. They may even have physical issues such as a tightening chest, headaches, or stomach problems.

Family and friends may be the first to recognize that a man in their life is depressed, since the man himself tends to avoid addressing his feelings. It is important to support him and encourage him to seek treatment from a mental health professional, particularly if his depression has led to a substance use disorder.

Mental Health and Addiction Support for Men

If you are experiencing mental health or substance use issues, we want to help get you back on track with your life. At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

The Myth of Adopted Child Syndrome

Adoption can be a happy and positive event. The child who is adopted finds a new home and a supportive family. However, the very need for a child to be adopted means that they have experienced a loss of some sort and that can cause some issues, often well into adulthood. There is a myth of Adopted Child Syndrome that is controversial and does not tell the true story of issues faced by adopted individuals.

Adoption Awareness Month

November is National Adoption Awareness Month, a time to focus on the continuing need for the adoption of children in the US, especially teenagers. The theme for 2021 is “Conversations Matter,” as it’s important to talk about adoption, particularly with the young people who are in the foster system or who have been adopted. This month and throughout the year, having that conversation will create an environment where the adopted individual knows they can be honest and ask questions that are important to them.

A Controversial Term

The term Adopted Child Syndrome was first used in 1978 by Dr. David Kirschner. The term has become controversial, is not included in the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), and is not considered a valid diagnosis. It has been used to describe the behavioral and emotional challenges that adopted children may experience, including problematic behaviors such as violence or defiance. However, Dr. Kirschner said that he used it to describe a very small clinical subgroup of individuals at the time of his study.

Adoption Challenges

There are legitimate issues facing adopted children and, in fact, some individuals have challenges throughout their adult lives because of the trauma they faced through their loss earlier in life. While adoption can give the child the loving, permanent home they need, the fact they need a new home can have negative effects on their mental and emotional health.

A young person who is adopted can struggle with low self-esteem, identity issues, difficulty forming emotional attachments, and a sense of loss or grief over the loss of their birth family. These negative effects can be short-lived and resolved once the adoptee feels an increased sense of security, but they can also arise in the individual during times of emotional stress throughout their lives.

Mental Health Issues

Several research studies indicate that there is an increased risk of mental health issues for adults who are adoptees. Studies found higher levels of anxiety, including panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, as well as depression among participants who had been adopted. The studies also found higher levels of behavioral disorders, certain personality disorders, and neuroticism.

Substance Abuse

In addition to the trauma of loss experienced by individuals who are adopted, there may have been issues with drug or alcohol addiction in the adoptee’s birth family that were at least partially responsible for that loss. The issues faced by the adopted child, coupled with certain genetic factors, could also lead to an increased rate of substance abuse that lasts into adulthood without appropriate treatment.

Research has found that the prevalence of a lifetime substance use disorder was 43% higher in individuals who had been adopted, compared with non-adoptees. The lifetime prevalence rates of alcohol use disorders was 41% and the rate of nicotine addiction was 25.4% for adoptees. The rates of illegal drug abuse in individuals who were adopted ranged from 2.9% for opioids to 13.2% for cannabis.

Adoption Competence in Treatment Options

One survey that was identified by the research studies revealed that about half of the participants were seeking therapy for a variety of reasons, including self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and family issues. Almost a fourth of the survey respondents noted that adoption competence was the highest factor in their choice of a therapist for their mental health issues. Having a mental health professional who specialized in their particular situation made a difference in terms of having someone who truly understands their stresses and challenges as adoptees.

Specialists in Adoption-Related Treatment

The professionals at PACE Recovery Center understand the struggles you may encounter as an adoptee, particularly in regard to adoption trauma and abandonment and attachment issues. Please contact PACE Recovery Center if you have been adopted or are an adoptive parent and struggle with alcohol, drugs, and mental illness. Our gender-specific, evidence-based addiction recovery center for men will help you begin the healing process and begin a remarkable journey. During these challenging times, our highly skilled team is adhering to COVID-19 guidelines to ensure you remain safe and healthy. You can reach us today at 800-526-1851.


My Son is Going to Prison

An addiction to drugs can take control of a young man’s life and that can lead to devastating consequences. The statistics for imprisonment reveal that drug offenses, particularly for males, are significantly higher than for any other crime. When your son is going to prison, you are undoubtedly drained emotionally and possibly even financially. You are not alone in your concerns.

Drug Crimes by the Numbers

Across the country, drug crime statistics continue to climb. As of October 2021, the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported that there are 67,115 people in prison for drug offenses, almost half of the total prison population. Offenses for weapons, explosives, and arson had the second highest number, with 30,144 or just over 20%. Overall, for all offenses listed, there are 144,915 men in prison, or 93% of the prison population.

Drug Abuse Arrests

The Office of Juvenile Justice reports that there was a total of 1,558,860 arrests for drug abuse violations in 2019. Of those, 1,162,790 were males. Teenage males ages 17 and under accounted for 60,060 arrests for drug abuse violations. Among adult males, 127,420 were between the ages of 18 and 20, 161,240 were between the ages of 21 and 24, and 814,060 were ages 25 and older.

Particularly disturbing among the drug crime statistics is that the arrests for drug abuse violations of males between the ages of 18 and 20 occurred at a rate of 1,939.4 per 100,000, and between the ages of 21 and 24 drug abuse arrests occurred at a rate of 1,815.4 per 100,000.

California Drug Crime Statistics

In the state of California in 2019, drug offenses are the biggest category of arrests for misdemeanor offenses. Just over a fourth of the 758,000 arrests in 2019 were for drug offenses. Alcohol-related offenses accounted for an additional 8% of those misdemeanor arrests.

A separate report found that California had the highest percentage across all states in the US of teenagers who were offered, given, or sold an illegal drug on school property.

Drug-Related Offenses

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that the prison population in the US is substantial and the high numbers are strongly connected to drug-related offenses. Research has shown that an estimated 65% of the prison population has a substance use disorder. Another 20% was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they committed their crime, even though they may not have had a diagnosed substance use disorder.

A Known Contributor to Violent Crimes

Beyond the arrests for use of illegal drugs, many individuals face prison sentences for crimes they committed while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In 2020, the rate of violent crimes, including aggravated assault and murder, increased dramatically. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), drug trafficking is known as a significant contributor to those violent crimes.

Even more devastating is the data showing that over 81,000 individuals in the US died of a drug overdose between May 2019 and May 2020. Overdose deaths have also increased significantly over the past year, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support for Your Son

When your son is going to prison as one of the individuals who used drugs and was arrested for a drug-related offense, it can be heartbreaking for you and your entire family. Supporting your son during this stressful time means encouraging him to get the help he needs to overcome his substance use disorder.

Many parents find themselves in an unending cycle of bailing out their son each time he is arrested, even though he promises never to use drugs again. It is important to stay strong and to set boundaries for yourself and your son, even during this most difficult time.

Addiction is almost impossible to overcome alone. If your son is going to prison, there may be options for him to learn how to get and stay clean during his time there.

The best time to get treatment, though, is before the drugs are able to influence your son toward a life of self-destruction and crime. When you and your son seek the help that he needs to overcome his addiction, he will learn how to live a healthier, more fulfilling life without being dependent on the harmful substances.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

If your son is experiencing substance use or mental health issues, we can help get him back on track with his life. At PACE Recovery, we optimize each person’s recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both their addiction to drugs or alcohol and their mental health issues. We address the whole person, including spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

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