Difference between Illicit Drugs and Alcohol Use

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This assignment will attempt to outline the difference between illicit drug and alcohol use of which there are many, this essay will focus on factors affecting the legalities, crime, long-term effects, society’s views on these substances, overdose and death rates.

Alcohol contributes to a high percentage of crime rates and offences. Crimes committed while under the influence of Alcohol are generally more violent than the majority of crimes committed by those using illicit substances, as they are less likely to be of a violent nature. Hoaken et al’s (2003) crime studies looked at the relationship between certain drugs of abuse and violent behaviour. They found evidence of alcohol intoxication as one of the most significant factors in the contribution to aggressive behaviour. A study by Murdoch et al (1990) showed that in a survey exceeding 9300 criminal case from 11 countries, 62% of acts of a violent nature were perpetrated either at the time or prior to consuming alcohol. Crimes of a violent nature while under the influence of alcohol include sectarianism, assaults, sexual assaults, date rape and domestic violence. There is a lot of evidence to support alcohol having a direct impact on reported domestic violence incidents. A few include Thompson et al (2006) who found that alcohol can in fact increase the “severity” of the violence and Humphreys et al (2005) found research to show 1/3 of all domestic violence incidents recorded involved alcohol. This in comparison with illicit substances is extremely high as in 2003 according to the British crime survey 44% of those charged with domestic violence were reported to be under influence of alcohol in comparison with a small 12% of those who at the time were under the influence of illicit drugs (Budd 2003). Illicit substances like Cannabis and Heroin are less likely to have violent crimes associated with them as opposed to alcohol. There is little evidence to support that Cannabis use contributes to violent...
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