Pawn shops and addiction

by Stas Novitsky

Pawn shops are predatory. They knew I wasn’t in a good place pawning my TV, jewelry, computers, and bike every week, but they made the transaction anyway.

I would go to countless pawn shops multiple times a week and do the weekly shuffle there. After the pawn shop to my dealers and then to hustle money to buy my stuff back plus drugs. At one point I sold them a stolen bike my 65-year-old homeless using partner had “given” me.

My addicted self thought nothing of it, I just wanted to get high. Needed to get high. As I was going to jail a few months later for stealing phones, my parents found out I had pawned all my things and they went to one of the pawn shops to retrieve the necklace my dad had given me at one point to keep me safe.

They let the shops keep everything else.

But they did go to each of these places one by one, showed them my picture and said something along the lines of, “Never do business with our son again, he has a drug problem you should be ashamed of yourselves.” My parents loved me and were just trying to protect me.

While I was in jail, I received a charge for selling stolen goods. I got the charge four months after I had sold them the bike, three months after my parents had told them to not do business with me. When I went to court for the sale of stolen goods one of the pawn shops employees was there, they ended up “agreeing” to give me a lifetime ban.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

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