The Relationship Between Substance Abuse And Crime

1656 words - 7 pages

“Drugs and Alcohol abuse”, are phrases we hear commonly on the radio, television or in discussions of social problems. People believe it is the user’s personal choice however; it is not only a personal problem that dramatically affects individuals’ life but is a major social problem that affects society as whole. It has become one of the biggest problems in United States today. Alcohol or Drug abuse nearly automatically is linked with criminal acts. The statistical association between alcohol or drug abuse with crime seems to be convincing when examined at the first glance; however, it is not possible to make a conclusion concerning a distinct cause and effect association between the two aspects. Accordingly, this paper will examine the relation between Alcohol or drug abuse and Crime.
One may ask the exact nature of the relationship between substance abuse and crime. As pointed out by Greenfield, not all those people who use drugs or alcohol commit crime. More so, not all criminals’ abuse drugs or uses alcohol (“An analysis of national….”). Yet again, there is consistently high amount of substance abuse among those engaged in criminal activities. Since the pharmacological impact of immediate as well as chronic exposure of substance abuse changes judgment and reduces self-control, those argue that criminal behaviors promote the use of substances (Sewell, Poling and Sofuoglu, 189). Similarly, some experts argue that criminal behaviors promote the use of substances (Greenfield, 12). Yet again, other experts hold that there is a third aspect, for instance an individual’s genetic make-up or his environment that exposes the individual to substance abuse as well as criminal activities (Walker, 73).
The relationship between alcohol or drug abuse and crime is crystal clear. For instance, in 2009, nearly 32,788 traffic related offenses were occurred, among these offenses 33% of them were fatal motor vehicle accidents that involved alcohol abuse were. According to the data from U.S. Department of transportation, about 1.5 million drunk drivers are arrested every year. In response to an annual national survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice, in which the sample was offenders serving jail terms for various crimes committed; 36% of the offenders indicated that they committed their crimes under the influence of alcohol or drug (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov). This percentage accounts for nearly one million of convictions carried out yearly. However, there are some variations in substance abuse among state and federal offenders.
A lot of people link drug abuse with crime, at times even with violent crime. This association comes from psychopharmacological association that imply that people may engage in criminal acts after taking some kind of substance known to undermine their judgment as well as self-control result in paranoid thoughts and distortion of inhibitions (Sewell, Poling and Sofuoglu, 189). Though all substances that affect...

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