Monday, November 12th, 2018

Drug Related Crimes

February 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Crime

Drug Related Crimes

Drug Related Crimes

There is a strong relationship between alcohol, drugs and crimes that can lead people to being in and out of jail with a long rap sheet. The relationship is not exclusive and have many contributing factors that help in perpetuating this vicious cycle. Drug use increases the likelihood of crime. People that use drugs are more likely to commit crimes and be arrested. The act of buying and possessing drugs is an illegal act in and of itself, but drug related crimes include crimes committed while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and crimes that are committed in order to get the money to buy drugs.  There are three main categories of drug related crimes: Drug defined offenses, drug-related offenses, and drug-using lifestyle.

Drug Related Crimes: Drug-defined offenses

This category of drug related crimes encompasses crimes that are directly related to drugs. Drug-defined offenses are violations of laws prohibiting or regulating the possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of illegal drugs. Examples of this kind of offense include drug possession or possession of drug paraphernalia.  Another example is the cultivation of marijuana or the production of methamphetamines. This category also includes the sale of illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, or LSD.

Drug Related Crimes: Drug-related offenses

Drug related offenses do not deal directly with the drugs themselves. This category includes offenses committed while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, where the pharmacological effects of the drug or drink contribute in some way to the crime. Also included in this category are offenses that are motivated by the user’s need to support their drug habit and offenses connected to drug distribution. Examples of these types of drug related crimes include violent behavior resulting from drug effects or a driving under the influence charge. Also, stealing money to buy drugs or violence against rival drug dealers are considered drug-related offenses.

Drug Related Crimes: Drug-using lifestyle

The final category of drug related crimes are offenses related to a drug using lifestyle. Drug use and crime are common aspects of a deviant lifestyle. The likelihood and frequency of involvement in illegal activities is increased because drug users may not have legitimate livelihoods. They also may be exposed to situations that encourage crime. Examples of these types of drug related crimes include a life orientation with an emphasis on short-term goals supported by illegal activities. Also, there are opportunities to offend resulting from contacts with other criminals and illegal markets. Included here too are criminal skills learned from other offenders.

In general, drug users are far more likely to commit crimes of all types than the general population. The most common drug related crime is drug sale and or possession. However, robbery, burglary, and larceny come in at 2, 3, and 4 respectively. In some places, up to 80% of people arrested test positive for a drug.

The connection between drug use and crime is clear. However, jail time has little effect on reduction of drug addiction or preventing future crime. Most people who are arrested for a drug related crime end up getting arrested again in the future, despite time spent in jail. It seems clear that the best way to reduce drug related crime is to offer treatment of the primary problem-addiction, rather than to just give jail time.

Sources:

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/DRRC.PDF

http://www.isp.idaho.gov/pgr/Research/documents/DrugTrends2012_000.pdf

http://www.ncadd.org/index.php/for-youth/drugs-and-crime/230-alcohol-drugs-and-crime

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