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Addict sentenced for burglary, deemed “poster child” for drug abuse perils

True addiction is an all-consuming disease, one that can easily come to dictate an individual's every action. It is the urgent need for their next fix that causes most addicts to manipulate their loved ones and even resort to criminal acts they may never have committed before they began using. Such was the case for 24-year-old Drew Gissel of Sturtevant, Wisconsin.

According to the Journal Times, a local news outlet, Gissel was sentenced to three years in jail for breaking into and burglarizing a man's car last September. He will also remain under supervision for five years. But this case, like so many others, was not simply a matter of straightforward theft.

"Although this is a burglary case, it really is a drug case as well," presiding judge Tim Boyle of the Racine County Circuit court said during sentencing. "This is the poster child of the devastation drugs pose to the community."

Gissel, who pleaded no contest to the burglary charge when he was apprehended, reportedly apologized to the victims present at his hearing, and told the court that he had been battling drug addiction for years.

"My addiction has haunted me since my mid-teens […] I have a substance abuse problem, and I am committed to living a substance- and crime-free life," Gissel told Judge Boyle at his sentencing hearing.

In January, we reported on a staggering statistic from 2011 released by the U.S. Department of Justice – that up to 48 percent of federal prison inmates were arrested for drug-related crimes. If someone you care about is struggling with addiction, a professional interventionist can help them get the help they need before their substance abuse problem leads to a criminal charge. Contact Intervention Services for more information.

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