The stereotypical substance abuse addict is a violent criminal, in most people’s minds, doing drugs and committing unspeakable acts against innocent people. But it’s not just violent crime that can be a bastion of addiction; white-collar crime, too, is a place where addicts flock in order to support their habits financially, and support themselves during addiction.
White-collar crime, of course, is typically known as the crime committed by office workers, or at the very least is referred to as crime committed on a higher social scale and at a higher social status. However, office workers and white-collar workers can be just as likely as blue-collar workers to fall prey to the traps of addiction, and because of that, white-collar crime must be taken seriously among those who abuse substances like drugs and alcohol.
White-collar crime is common among addicts and former addicts because of various psychological issues and problems including low self-esteem and a lack of personal responsibility leading to disrespect of other people and possessions. Additionally, when alcohol and drugs become an addict’s complete and total coping mechanism, these addicts can be led to do whatever they need to do to continue those habits – and that may include stealing from their place of business.
Besides the criminal aspect of white-collar crime, and the associated prison sentences and convictions, the easiest way to cure white-collar crime problems is to cure the underlying issues that affect and exacerbate it. That means raising the levels of self-esteem among addicts so that they can respect themselves enough to not have to resort to white-collar crimes.
That also means raising the empathy level of these addicts, to the point where they understand that their criminal actions affect other people and that their problems are not isolated in a vacuum. Empathy can be an important tool to snap addicts out of criminal behaviors and impress upon them that they can negatively affect and hurt other people, as well as themselves.
Furthermore, this means forcing addicts to take into account the personal responsibility they have for committing these white-collar crimes. Just because these crimes are not violent does not mean they do not have victims; it is important for addicts who commit white-collar crime to understand that their actions still do affect other people, regardless of the level of crime committed.
Good addiction therapists and psychologists can prove to addicts that their issues and actions affect others, and white-collar crime is no less serious than is violent crime. Eventually, when taking personal responsibility, addicts begin to realize the depths of their problems with white-collar crime, and accept their part in creating a negative environment for themselves and others.