Man with Addiction Forced to Steal Food After Spending All His Money on Drugs

Addiction can have a devastating effect on individuals, with many risking losing everything they once held dear as they struggle to satisfy the intense cravings they are experiencing for drugs or alcohol. Those with little or no experience of this illness are often heard saying that addicts should just stop drinking or stop taking drugs, but the reality is that it is never that simple.

In fact, getting sober and managing to stay sober can take a lot of hard work and motivation, which is something that many addicts do not have. Those who are affected by drug or alcohol addiction are in danger of losing their friends, families, jobs and homes. The very nature of addiction means that people affected often cannot stop their addictive behaviour even when they know that it is causing negative consequences for themselves and their families.

It is hard to understand why addicts act the way that they do but the truth is that they do not have any control over their compulsion to drink or take drugs. These individuals may also act in a manner that they would never have dreamed of before being affected by addiction.

Desperate Actions

A Somerset man has recently appeared in court charged with shoplifting after he was forced to steal food because he spent all his money on feeding his drug addiction. James Richard Pilkington took desperate measures to feed his addiction after becoming hooked on both cocaine and heroin.

He was caught on CCTV on a number of occasions stealing food and other items that he could use to raise cash to buy drugs. Emma Lenanton, prosecuting, said, “He stole a number of tobacco items and groceries worth £65.57, and each time he actually made a payment transaction, but the card he used to make the contactless payments was stolen.”

Quickly Hooked

Pilkington’s solicitor Sam Morton said that his client had quickly developed a devastating addiction to Class A illegal drugs after taking them last year. He confirmed that Pilkington had been forced to steal because he had spent all his money on drugs.

However, he also confirmed that his client made the decision to get help as soon as he was arrested and had completed a home detox. He added, “He knew the drugs were taking over his life and that he would do anything while in the midst of an addiction. My client now says he is not going to relapse as he knows the harm that drugs do and he just wants to get on with his life.”


Pilkington was given a one-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs. Although he did not get a prison sentence, he now has a criminal record that will affect his life going forward. Sadly, this is often the case for those with addiction.

Unless help is sought early on in the illness, there is the danger that one’s life could quickly spiral out of control. Many people with addictions to substances such as alcohol and drugs end up in a desperate situation where they are forced to turn to criminal activities in order to fund their habit.

Treating Addiction

It is important for those with addiction to seek help as soon as possible. Unfortunately, many of those affected by addiction do not realise they are in trouble until their illness is at a late stage. Nonetheless, the good news is that it is never too late to reach out for help. Even those with a severe addiction to drugs and alcohol can recover with the right help and support.

Detox and rehabilitation programmes are effective when it comes to helping people to get better. Treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy, individual counselling and group therapy all work to help those with addiction identify the cause of their behaviour and learn how to go on to live a drug or alcohol-free life.

Source: Bruton man with no money to buy food stole to fund addiction to Class A drugs (Somerset Live)