Often when news is released about a violent crime, there is no sympathy. So quickly, society labels the offender as a monster, a killer, an abomination. We don’t take the time to factor in any elements affecting a person’s actions. Society drowns them in hatred and judgment.
The human brain is severely affected by substance usage. Drugs and alcohol affect part of the brain which limits one’s ability for self-control, giving those affected less control over their impulse regulation. Violence and aggression elevates parts of the brain that trigger desire, cravings and pleasure. This often leaves the offender with a stronger impulse to seek pleasure in whichever form they desire, and have less of an ability to regulate and simply say “no.”
There is a quote my teacher has on her wall that states, “psychology is not excusiology.” This is not meant to excuse their behaviour, as they have committed a crime and should be held responsible, but we need to look more into the factors affecting this choice. We should provide any assistance that is needed for violent offenders who struggle with a serious and crippling addiction.
Amelia Marzola, Whitby
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