Many people are under the impression that a drug addiction relates to illegal drugs. However, this is an incorrect assumption as a drug addiction can also refer to prescription drugs; a codeine addiction is an example of a prescription drug addiction. The issue with prescription drug addictions is that they can be extremely difficult to spot; often beginning with the affected person being prescribed the drugs by a doctor to act as a form of pain relief. Once the individual finds him or herself addicted, it can often go unnoticed by the doctor and loved ones as they will assume the person is taking the drug for pain relief and not recreational purposes.
Funding Codeine Addiction with Theft
One woman who knows the effects of a codeine addiction all too well is 53-year-old teacher Margaret Redjeb of Birstall. Redjeb had become addicted to codeine after the death of both her parents; this consequently drove her to steal and then sell £22,000 worth of electrical school equipment to fund her addiction.
The devices belonged to Belgrave St Peter’s Church of England school in Leicester and were sold for just £5,000, which is less than a quarter of their full value. Redjeb admitted four charges of fraud by falsely claiming that she had the right to sell the equipment that was not hers. The court heard how she sold the equipment to four stores in Leicester: Cash Zone, Cash Generator, Cash Convertor, and Cash Shop.
Deep Depression and Crippling Addiction
These thefts took place between February 2013 and March 2015 when Redjeb was an employee at the school. Redjeb’s defence, Steve Bailey, told the court that she had fallen into a deep depression after her parents died, and subsequently started abusing codeine, leaving her with a crippling addiction. He also explained that she was sourcing the drug from someone she knew who had managed to build up a surplus. “My client was addicted to codeine and used money from the sales to buy it illegally from a local source.” He further added that Redjeb was truly sorry for her actions and was being accompanied to the hearing by her pastor.
Prosecutor Simon Hanka explained that the equipment was owned by a small church primary school that did not have a lot of other assets and could not afford to lose these valuable pieces of equipment. However, despite this, he did show support for the case being adjourned.
Custody Is an Option when Addiction Strikes
Judge Ebrahim Mooncey spoke directly to Redjeb when he said, “This is a breach of trust issue and involves scarce resources. Custody is an option. However, remorse will be demonstrated if the defendant makes attempts to pay back money to the school.” Soon after, he adjourned the case in order for a victim impact statement from the school and pre-sentence report to be prepared.
Judge Mooncey said that these reports will have a bearing on the outcome and whether she would receive a custodial sentence. She was granted bail on the condition that she co-operated with the prohibition service and was ordered to return to court in a months’ time to hear the outcome.
Vikki Kenney, head teacher at Belgrave St Peter’s Church of England School commented, “As soon as we were aware of discrepancies regarding the school’s IT stock, we took immediate action, referring our concerns to the city council for formal investigation.”
Why an Individual Would Turn to Drugs
It really does not matter if your drug of choice is an illegal substance such as cocaine or heroin, or a legal drug such as codeine; the outcome is often the same. As these are all extremely potent substances, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of addiction.
There are many different reasons an individual can turn to drugs; this can range from peer pressure to experimental purposes to simply wanting to escape from the troubles of everyday life. One thing that all have in common though is that no one ever has the intention of becoming addicted. Many people think that they will be able to take the drug just once or twice and not become addicted; however, the reality is much the opposite. Even if you take drugs just once, it can be enough for your body to begin craving it, eventually leading to addiction.
Support When Overcoming Addiction
One thing that is often a detrimental factor in whether an individual will successfully overcome their addiction is the amount of support they receive. This support can be from anyone including a doctor, loved ones, or even a counsellor; it just needs to be someone who will ensure that the individual does not turn back to the drugs when things get tough.
Here at Liberty House, we will make sure that you are comfortable and feel supported on your journey to recovery. Our helpful and professional staff will go above and beyond to make sure that you are on target to overcome your addiction. For further information, contact us today, and we will be more than happy to assist you.
Source: Belgrave St Peter’s Church of England teacher sold £22,000 of school equipment to fund addiction (Leicester Mercury)