Topic: Substance Abuse and Crime
Instructor: Scott Breseman
Course: Introduction to Criminal Justice
Date: 22th January, 2011
Substance abuse is “nearly automatically” linked with criminal acts. The statistical association between illegal drugs abuse and 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. As noted by Brochu the idea that substance abuse results in crime does not put into consideration the effect of living conditions of a person, that can as well play an important role in criminal activities of an individual (30). Still, according to Greenield, there is a clear relationship between substance abuse and crime (11). Greenield, further notes that, alcohol and drug abuse is estimated to contribute in 80% of crimes resulting in jail terms in America (12), crimes like domestic violence, drug related offences, driving while drunk among many others. Thus this paper will examine the relationship between substance abuse and crime.
One may ask the exact nature of the relationship between substance abuse and crime. As pointed out by Greenield, not all those people who use drugs or alcohol commit crime. More so, not all criminal abuse drugs or uses alcohol (12). Yet again, there is consistently high amount of substance abuse among those engaged in criminal activities. This relationship is a complex one and difficult to explain. Since the pharmacological impact of immediate as well as chronic exposure of substance abuse changes judgement and reduces self-control, those abusing drugs are more likely to end up committing crimes than those not using drugs. Similarly, some experts argue that criminal behaviours promote the use of substances. Yet again, other experts hold that there is a third aspect, for instance an individual’s genetic make-up or his environment that... [continues]
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