Many West Virginia residents struggle every day with a drug or alcohol addiction. These addictions can negatively affect several areas of life.
Addictions can cause people to lose jobs, relationships and their homes. Drugs and alcohol often affect our behavior and can even alter brain structures.
If you are suffering from an addiction, or stuck in a cycle of addiction and recovery, you know that you can become a completely different person when you are drunk or high.
Alcohol and drugs often lead to violent behavior
One of the most common behavioral changes involves aggressive behavior that leads to violent crime.
In fact, statistics show that alcohol or drugs are involved in approximately 40 to 60% of domestic abuse situations, and every year, around 300,000 victims of violent crime say that alcohol played a role in the situation.
Even more startling, alcohol is involved in 32% of U.S. murders.
How alcohol and drugs affect our brain
While alcohol and drugs alone do not directly cause violent behavior, they significantly increase the chance of it occurring. Alcohol reduces our ability to control anger, make good choices and solve problems.
Alcohol also makes us live in the moment. While this is not usually seen as a bad thing, alcohol prevents us from seeing the consequences of our actions.
When you are intoxicated, you may find yourself saying and doing things you never would if you were sober. You may even completely black out and have no memory of what you have done.
When your actions result in a crime
Sometimes, these actions result in criminal charges for assault, battery or other violent crimes.
There are many factors that are considered in a criminal case. One of these is your state of mind. Many crimes require the prosecution to prove you intended to commit the crime.
Evidence that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs could show that you were unable to form the intent to commit the crime. This could be a potential defense.
Penalties for a violent crime conviction are serious. You face potential fines and jail time.
A criminal record can also hinder future employment opportunities. This is why putting on a strong defense is important.