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Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

Addictions don't excuse crimes

Posted Wednesday, February 23, 2011, at 1:24 PM

Lindsay Lohan has been told by a Los Angeles judge if she accepts a plea bargain to avoid trial in the alleged theft of a $2,500 necklace from a jewelry store, she will go to jail.

Lohan, who denies the allegation, is being "over-prosecuted," says her father, Michael Lohan. He told reporters that he didn't see her as a criminal and "this is all a result of her addiction."

I see the results almost every day locally of crimes committed by people who admit or claim addictions when arrested. First offenders as a result of addictions deserve help. Repeat addiction-driven offenders need continued help but shouldn't be allowed to use "addictions" as an excuse.

And I'm tired of nationally-known celebrities, including some politicians and business executives, living as though laws and morals don't apply to them.


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I agree with most of what has already been said, but I feel that some of our doctors over prescribe medications that are not necessary. I feel so many of our children are given more powerful medicine than is necessary.

-- Posted by Poksalad on Sat, Mar 12, 2011, at 4:44 PM

One of the wisest things I heard a person say about additions, bad habits, mental and physical conditions people avoid treatment for or any other personal challenges we avoid dealing with was that as long as the problem is easier than the cure it will win out. It isn't until recovery is the easy solution that it is often seen as an option. Yes that is just another way of saying "hit rock bottom" but hearing it stated in this manner gave it more reality.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, Feb 28, 2011, at 10:46 AM

I asked my doctor during a visit why did I crave chocolate all the time? He said "you crave it because it makes you happy.". I said to myself, "this is stupid", so I went for a day with no chocolate. The next day about noon I ate a large snickers bar. You would not believe how happy I was until 6PM, when I was really sad and doggone depressed. Even had to admit that my doctor was correct. Be back later, I need a milkyway bar now.

-- Posted by Grits on Sun, Feb 27, 2011, at 2:21 PM

The majority of people in TN are on medications that they buy every month and take, most all of these meds are marginal at best in producing a positive effect for their affliction. all medications damage at the very least liver and kidney function, but this is deemed acceptable to the population. It has been shown in clinical trials that placebos work just about as well if not better than some meds but do not damage the body or create dangerous side-effects. People are usually what is described as addicted to their meds but this is considered socially acceptable because the dealer usually wears a white coat. Our drug induced society is hooked on their medicines, many start in while children these days, being treated for disorders that are usually caused by high toxins in foods and water and the low nutrient levels of same foods. until these problems are corrected, this country will continue to circle the drain of a toxic chemical medicated stew...

-- Posted by zygoat on Sun, Feb 27, 2011, at 10:20 AM

I agree with Grit and Tim Lokey.

Addiction is not something that is easy to walk away from. Some can do it "cold turkey" while others need professional help. But those who have addictions cannot receive help until they admit that they have a problem and want help. If you have ever been addicted to something you know how hard it is to stop. This could be anything from smoking, drinking soda, biting your nails, etc. Everyone has an addiction somewhere. They may not be as bad as a drug and alcohol problem, but you can still relate on how hard it is to quit an addiction.

Families will often aid in the addiction by supplying the money and such that helps the addiction. Sometimes tough love is the answer. But it isn't as easy as you will see on the show "Intervention". Kicking the habit can be fatal just as the addiction. As Tim said, they have to hit rock bottom and ask for help then they are ready to recover.

I agree with Grit, that addiction is not something easy to kick. Also that students need to see what actually happens in a courtroom. I remember as a child, I lived in Rutherford County and we took a field trip to the County jail and saw what it was like to be locked up and everything that happens to you after you enter the jail. They even locks us in a couple of cells and left so we would get the sense of what it was like. But the kids now, have no idea how it is only what they see on TV.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Sun, Feb 27, 2011, at 8:21 AM

Tim Lokey, Many times I have been impressed by the things you have posted. This is one of those times. You have hit the nail squarely on the head.

-- Posted by leeiii on Sat, Feb 26, 2011, at 8:26 PM

One of the very first things any addict must come to grips with is accepting personal responsibility for their actions. As long as they continue to blame anything or anyone else for their problems, their problems continue to get worse. Family members often contribute to this process by enabling them. Every time a family member makes their bail, hires the attorney, pays their fines, court costs, etc., the often ungrateful addict looks upon this as permission to continue in their self destruction. The addict must be allowed to hit a bottom that is so unbearably painful, they decide it's time to change. Untreated addiction is 100% fatal.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sat, Feb 26, 2011, at 4:30 PM

When one is addicted to a substance, it means their brain has been altered by that substance. Telling someone addicted to "JUST QUIT" is like telling a tree to stop shedding leaves. I would like to see all school children attend a court hearing several times from the 6th-12th grade. Most youngsters have no idea about what happens if they are arrested, put in jail and then have to stand before a judge. They don't have a clue about the monetary cost to their parents for their defence. What happens if they have a fender bender and the police show up and the expensive lawyers show up and the bondsmen show up and the $200 towing bill, etc, etc. They may never start doing risky behavior if they are educated about the justice system. Nearly all teenagers show up in a strange world when they go to court.

-- Posted by Grits on Sat, Feb 26, 2011, at 2:05 PM

You are absolutely correct John! Addiction is not a valid excuse for wrong, immoral or criminal behavior. An excuse is nothing more than a thin skin stretched over a bald faced lie.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sat, Feb 26, 2011, at 12:30 AM

John I. Carney,

You posted......"It contained an epithet which some might have found offensive."

Could not that even be said just about everything?

Even Mr. Melson's topic itself could be found offensive to people who think they suffer from his termed "addiction".

I apologize if it was your toes that got stepped on a little??

-- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Fri, Feb 25, 2011, at 1:47 PM
John I. Carney
It had nothing to do with my toes -- or anyone else's -- and I wasn't the one who made the final decision. There are certain terms for various groups which are generally agreed-upon as being offensive. Look up the term "epithet" in the dictionary. Calling groups of people by one of those offensive names violates our Terms of Service.

Your message was not deleted because of the overall meaning of what you were saying, only because you used what is generally considered to be an offensive name for a particular group. If we were trying to censor your (or anyone else's) views, we'd delete many more messages. You violated our Terms of Service -- to which you agreed when you signed up for a user account -- with that one particular comment, and that one particular comment was deleted.

You need to understand the difference, because if you continue to violate our Terms of Service your account will be deleted. Happily, there are plenty of ways to express your opinion that don't violate the Terms of Service.

My deleted post was actually in total agreement with Mr. Melson's topic of "excuses".

Maybe he took it personally????

-- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Fri, Feb 25, 2011, at 6:44 AM

over-prosecuted?! She has had multiple chances.

-- Posted by Tinaw on Fri, Feb 25, 2011, at 6:00 AM

Blessed Assurance, I didn't see it, but I know that you post anything that is offensive it could be deleted.

http://www.t-g.com/help/legal/

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-- Posted by PrpleHze on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 10:23 PM

Any idea why my comment was deleted?

-- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 9:22 PM
John I. Carney
It contained an epithet which some might have found offensive.

I agree that I get so tired of seeing and hearing about the Hollywood dramas. They should be treated just like anyone else. No one should be held above the law.

I am one of the people who do not feel bad when someone is arrested, even if it is their first offense. Because you are an adult, so you know right and wrong. You know that stealing is wrong so if you get busted, I don't think you should be able to say "I didn't know" because you have known since a child that it is wrong. If you stole to support your drug habit, then they should be offered help to get off of the drugs, but no other special treatment should be given or shown.

I believe that some people deserve a second chance, depending on their crime. If it involves an addiction, then offer them help. If they refuse the help then there are no second chances because they don't care about kicking their habit.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 10:32 AM

If she accepts the plea bargain, she goes to jail. If she sees it through and loses, she goes to jail, so why not see it through and shoot for acquittal. Goofy juries can do wonders and after all, it is CALIFORNIA, so....!

I know that is not your point David, but the courts seem to be ridiculous, so she could claim she stole it for extraterrestrial relief program and probably get off.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Feb 23, 2011, at 8:56 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.