The Correlation Between Drug Use and Crime: Prevention
“Drug use is associated with an outstanding 20-40 percent of criminal activity in the U.S. today” (Keene, 2005, p.3). The use of illicit drugs can almost always be considered when discussing property crime, theft, burglary, murder, rape, aggravated assault, etc. There is a significant relationship between drug abuse, of both legal and illegal substances, and the effects it has on crime. The major correlations between drugs and crime portray primarily in heroin, cocaine, pcp (Phencyclidine), and opiates. However, alcohol even though it is legal, has an impact on crime more than most people realize. Ordinarily much prevention to include the increase in rehabilitation centers, heightened levels of law enforcement, stricter laws, and the legalization of illicit drugs may be tactics to limit drug use and crime.
Definition of Drug Use and Drug Abuse
Drug use is simply defined as the consumption of drugs or prescription medications, to include alcohol. Drug abuse is defined as an habitual use of drugs to alter one's mood, emotion, or state of consciousness. Abuse can result in significant impairment, failure to fulfill social or occupational obligations, or situations which are physically dangerous, lethal or could end in legal problems.
The legal drug alcohol, is more commonly abused than we know. Consuming more than one drink an hour is considered binging or abuse. Alcohol abuse can have devastating effects on a person’s judgment. Several effects of abuse can include impairment, disruption of normal brain function and misjudgment of social cues, which could primarily lead to aggravated aggression.
Furthermore, illegal drugs that have a significant or major impact on crime include crack cocaine and heroin/morphine users. Crack-cocaine is one of the most common illicit drugs. It is a powerful stimulant that is frequently abused and is highly addictive causing the abuser to have an increased sense of energy and alertness. Heroin converts to morphine, which is then processed through the brain and slows a person’s body function to a relaxed state, the feeling of a high.
Drugs Lead To Crime
Subsequently, there are several discussions on the topic of which drugs lead to and push an abuser to committing unlawful crimes. Illegal drugs are illegal for a reason; the advocacy group Drug Watch International points out that the intoxicating effect on the brain, damaging impact on the body, and their adverse impact on behavior, cause the person to make negative decisions under an intoxicated thinking process (Hartnett, 2005, p.4). Surprisingly enough, the drugs cocaine and heroin have virtually no correlation towards aggressive violence; users addicted to the substance normally participate in drug related activities including property crime, burglary, theft to fund their existing drug habit (Keene, 2005, p.2). Many users commit these petty crimes mostly to gain money to buy...