bank robbers on meth
by anna shane, Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 10:31:20 AM EST
I've been working in the substance abuse field through most of my professional career. In this time I've interviewed tens of thousands, a significant percentage addicts. I've interviewed at least twenty bank robbers over the past twenty years, who were either pre-trial or on probation but who could not pass their 'piss' tests. I got to hear their stories. Mostly they were quite normal and nice people, when sober.
While some bank robbers were on heroin (more years ago, fewer now) by far the most were using methamphetamine, or some other form of amphetamine.
Most of them thought that robbing a bank was a great idea, go where the money is. They'd been up a few nights, jawing with their friends, doing lines, not yet in the paranoid state, in the over-confident state where they believed in their own accomplishments and abilities, and thought they could pretty much do whatever they set their minds to. One very nice woman dressed in a clown suit and took along a water gun. Some managed to 'rob' several before they were caught, but statistically most all are caught, our police do put resources into catching bank robbers.
Now we have the biggest bank robbery in my lifetime, and it's reported on the front page of today's NYT (What Red Ink? Wall St. Paid Hefty Bonuses). "Despite crippling losses ... employees at financial companies in New York ... collected an estimated $18.4 billion in bonuses for the year."
It takes a meth addict (my opinion) to be that overly confident in one's 'worth,' and one's judgement, and also blind to how obvious a 'steal' this is to watchers (law enforcement anyone?)
Therefore, I have this small suggestion to President Obama, who wants accountability in Wall Street. Please ask for mandatory drug testing of all financial wizards who benefit from tax dollars? Addicts are sneaky, so someone will have to watch them piss (and they'll have to take off their pants so as to foil that plastic tube devise that substitutes clean pee). Has to be random, or they'll drink those 'clean' drinks to 'pass' their tests, and not only random, but frequent. Three or four times a week ought to do it.
Anyone caught with a 'dirty' test should be immediately referred to a drug treatment program, utilizing the behavior mod technique that has been proven to be effective in waking up addicts. Personally I think they need to be put on 'limited' duty, until they've been sober at least a year. I think it's likely many would first 'quit' to keep their pee tests to themselves, cause while on meth they'll likely think another 'mark' will come their way - meth addicts are all sooo special? (Cocaine addicts are even more special, cause it costs more, go figure)
After all, nearly all bank robbers are on meth. Take away the meth, and who knows what honesty may emerge.