Ultimately, the course of earning (more) respect is entirely up to the individual and their preference of method. The truth is that some people are simply good at being bad and doing good requires hard work. Throwing your hands up in the air and saying "I give up" is much easier than resisting negativity and continuing down a more positive path.
Risk of death from overdosing on heroin or other opioids such as Vicodin or OxyContin goes up substantially after periods of refraining from drug use. Quantities that once brought pleasure can be fatal after a period of abstinence. The research shows that individuals leaving jail or prison are particularly vulnerable.
We're all aware of income inequality and the need for initiatives to address common societal issues. Yet we don't often hear about whether programs meant to help people really solve the problems at hand, because few steps are taken to actually assess the outcomes, leaving evaluation of the initiatives to little more than a gut feeling.