Drug addicts commit crime as they believe a day in court is the only way to secure treatment, a report has said.
The charity wants more funding for community schemes
Users in areas with poor community services feel court-monitored programmes are their only hope, charity Turning Point said.
A third of those interviewed admitted committing an offence to get treatment.
The group will hand its report to Home Secretary David Blunkett at its Drugs and Crime conference, where he is expected to speak on Monday.
Almost 75% of those interviewed tried to get help before their arrest, on average three times, researchers found.
Turning Point said one addict told interviewers he believed he would have died if he had not secured a Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO).
It says community-based services need to be as effective as those inside the criminal justice system.
"People need to be caught before they hit rock bottom and before they get caught up in crime," chief executive Lord Victor Adebowale said.
"We're talking about people who feel they have absolutely no hope of getting treatment and are willing to risk a jail sentence."
The report found treatment orders reduced re-offending rates but less than one in every three people completed them.