Is There a Correlation Between Addiction and Crime?

Addiction and Crime

Crime has steadily increased over the last three decades, and ironically, so have addiction rates.  Millions of people attend treatment each year, but there is still ninety percent who don’t get help that need it.  When you’re suffering from addiction, your ability to think rationally and make logical decisions is not there.  Things may seem like a great idea at the time, but cause irreversible social and legal consequences.  

The causal order between addiction and crime may shift, but there is certainly a correlation between the two.  Most often, alcohol is the substance linked to crime, likely because it is the most widely used.  It is usually the precursor to violent behavior, resulting in 50 percent of individuals being intoxicated at the time of arrest.  Alcohol is most closely related to rape, assault and murder.  In fact, 87 percent of offenders were under the influence of alcohol when arrested for domestic violence.  It has been proven that a person who has 5 or more drinks in one sitting has a much higher propensity towards violence.  Chronic alcoholism can cause severe agitation and lead to personality changes which are conducive to violence.

Substances other than alcohol also may lead to violence.  Stimulants such as methamphetamine, PCP, and cocaine can all cause a person to feel agitated and inflict harm on another individual or themselves.  All addictive drugs can take over your life and promptly make you lose things you once had, such as a job or family.  Drugs are extremely expensive, and when you’re addicted you may spend every penny you have on them, which could result in economic systemic violence.  If you lose your job because of your addiction and aren’t able to pay for the drugs your body craves, you might participate in illegal activity to support your addiction.  It could be robbing a person or store to get money to pay for more, or even taking drugs from a dealer.  

Criminals may also use substances to numb the guilt and shame they feel from committing certain crimes.  Addiction and crime appear to be a never ending cycle that keeps getting worse.  If we’re able to provide treatment to those who need it, the crime rate in the United States will begin to dwindle and countless lives will be saved.  

The answer to recovery is Simple. Our multi-tiered program is designed to help your loved one find success on a new path in life through school, work, and meaningful volunteering. Structured for progress, clients at Simple Recovery transition seamlessly through each phase of their recovery. For information on our full continuum of care options for recovery from addiction and co-occurring mental health, call us today: 888-743-0490