What’s the Relation Between Drugs and Crime?


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It’s not uncommon to hear of many crimes that have involved drug use or drug handling. Drugs can alter a person’s thinking and behavior, which may cause them to make unwise or otherwise dangerous decisions. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has noted three main ways that drugs and crime are related: 1) offenses defined by drug possession or sales, 2) offenses directly related to drug abuse, such as stealing to get money for drugs, and 3) offenses related to a lifestyle that predisposes the drug abuser to engage in illegal activity, such as association with other offenders.

According to the 2012 statistics from the Department of Justice, approximately 6,937,600 constituted the entire correctional population in the United States, with about 4,794,000 being on probation or under parole supervision and most of law violations consisting of drug-related offenses. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals estimates that nearly 50% of inmates are clinically addicted, and approximately 60% of individuals arrested for most types of crimes test positive for illicit drugs at the time of their arrest. What does this mean?

As people are using drugs, they are engaging in criminal activity. A 2013 study from researchers in Iran titled “The Relationship Between the Type of Crime and Drugs in Addicted Prisoners in Zahedan Central Prison” claimed that there is often a vicious cycle between poverty, addiction, and crime. The study stated that there is a direct relationship, and many people who turn to illegal activities such as smuggling, drug dealing, theft and prostitution do so because they do not have an income to fulfill their needs. If they can’t acquire drugs with money, they acquire it in other ways, even those ways are very dangerous.

With the opioid crisis, any individuals are becoming addicted to painkillers and, while they may have been safe to use for a limited time after a surgery, the person decides to continue taking the medication and then becomes dependent on it. For those with limited income or disability, people are finding ways to obtain medications even if those routes are not legal.

If you have an addiction and are ready to seek help, call us today at 888-207-0965. Simple Recovery is a California state-licensed, world-renowned substance abuse treatment program that can provide you with the support and space that you need to focus solely on your recovery. Take that first step today and call us for a consultation.