In a news article dated November 25, 2019, titled "How this couple ran a ‘redneck’ meth empire in an Appalachian county ravaged by addiction," we can see the devastating impact of drug addiction on behavior.
The story is about a couple who were addicted to crystal meth: Roger Dale Franklin and Lisa Dawn Wentworth. Upset with how unreliable their dealer was, Roger and Lisa decided to start selling drugs themselves so they had a more direct access to their addiction. Roger told his girlfriend Lisa that he had connections, but what Lisa didn't understand was that those connections were with the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación, or CJNG, a relatively new but dangerous Mexican drug cartel that has saturated the US with ultra-pure methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.
Lisa, who started using meth in her 40s, went from using the drug to selling the drug throughout her home state of North Carolina, becoming a local dealer and becoming part of the drug trafficking business for CJNG. Lisa and her boyfriend Roger were part of a larger ring of drug traffickers throughout the South, and they got involved with the cartel because of their addictions to meth.
While they trafficked drugs, deaths from methamphetamines rose from 1,887 in 2011 to 6,762 in 2016.
There is a connection between drug abuse and poor decision-making; long term substance abuse impacts behavior and decision-making skills, encouraging addicts to pick immediate gratification despite negative consequences; this is what allows addicts to continue to abuse drugs, despite knowing the consequences and understanding it will make things worse. The quick fix drugs give them is worth it. For Lisa and Roger, getting addicted to drugs opened them up to a world where they were motivated by having access to meth. It changed their behavior to one where they were willing to set up a drug trafficking business in North Carolina and become connected to a dangerous drug cartel in order to have access to the drugs and power associated with selling. Their lives changed based on deviant behavior as a result of prolonged drug use and addiction.
Lisa and Roger were arrested in 2015 during a traffic stop when Roger made an illegal u-turn. Roger died of a heart attack in 2017 in prison, and Lisa was released after spending two years in jail. She's been clean ever since but still reports to a parole officer and lives in a halfway house. She now works as a support counselor for those who struggle with addiction and mental health problems.