The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate. With five percent of the world's population, our country houses nearly twenty-five percent of the world's reported prisoners. Currently there are approximately two million people in American prisons or jails. Since 1984 the prison population for drug offenders has risen from ten percent to now over thirty percent of the total prison population. Federal prisons were estimated to hold 179,204 sentenced inmates in 2007; 95,446 for drug offenses. State prisons held a total of 1,296,700 inmates in 2005; 253,300 for drug offenses. Sixty percent of the drug offenders in prisons are nonviolent and were purely in prison because of drug offenses (Drug War Facts). The question then arises,
Substance abuse is a key component to the problems that we face today as a society. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("Alcohol-Impaired Driving", 2009) in 2009, 32% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States were due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Surveys were also conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Compton, & Berning, 2009) so researchers were able to estimate not only the prevalence of drinking and driving, but for the first time they were also able to collect data on the number of drivers who were under the influence of drugs that impaired their abilities. In this data, it was found that 16% of weekend night time drivers tested positive for impairing drugs, in contrast to the 2% of drivers who were at the legal alcohol limit; making drugs 7 times more prevalent. These statistics show that “drugged” driving is a concern for not only law enforcement but also puts other drivers at risk of becoming a part of future statistics.
The impact of cocaine addiction or dependence on increased crime rates and criminal activity is attributed to the link between the drug and a significant number of illegal activities. Apart from being associated with increased violent activities, cocaine dependence has also resulted in increased homicide and suicide. A study in New York City demonstrated that homicide deaths were strongly linked to cocaine or its metabolite (Morton, 1999, p.111). In the survey, most of the victims and perpetrators of homicide tested positive for cocaine use. Cocaine dependence or addiction may contribute to suicide because of the probability of the user to suffer from depression, which tends to occur frequently among cocaine users.
Drug abuse is shown to be connected to all different kinds of crime in the United States, and in many circumstances, crime is inspired by drug abuse and addiction. In fact, 80% of criminal offenders abuse drugs or alcohol (National Association of Drug Court Professionals). Also, 60% of those who are arrested test positive for illicit drugs when they are arrested, and 60-80% commit another crime, typically drug-related, after leaving prison (National Association of Drug Court Professionals). And, even after these individuals put in the time in prison that would allow them to go through the uncomfortable process of detoxing, 95% of them will chose to go back to drug abuse after prison (National Association of Drug Court Professionals). Given these overwhelming statistics, it is clear that drug abuse, and repeated or continued drug abuse, are a serious problem facing the criminal justice system.
Drug abuse is on the rise. While the use of drugs like cocaine and heroin is in a state of decline in certain parts of the world, prescription drugs abuse is on the rise (UNODC, 2013). Prescription drugs that were prescribed with the intention to do well are now one of the leading causes of self-harm. Drug abuse has no gender or social class, it can affect people regardless of social status and wealth, and now more than ever we need to understand the reason behind the abuse. What psychological factors could cause an individual to abuse drugs in the first place? In this research essay, I will discuss how each one of the major school of psychology perspectives could attempt to explain a
What we know undeniably, is that there is a high association between drugs use and criminal activity, which appears in the documentary Pill Nation. In my opinion, the relationship between Gottfredson & Hirschi’s self-control and Strain theory accounts for the drug and alcohol criminological problem. An excellent example of this is former doctor Larry Friedes AKA " The Rouge Doctor before he was addicted to drugs, he was a heavy user of alcohol, drugs, and gambling. Then he became a full time junky."
After reading this weeks assigned text, it is easy to see a relative correlation between the three hypothesis listed. For the purpose of discussion, I will argue Hypothesis 1; “Drug Use Causes Crime.” As stated in the text, numerous studies have been completed and the evidence continually shows that drug use either is a result of a life of crime or perpetuates a life of crime (Levinthal, 2012). The National Criminal Justice Reference Service or NCJRS website states that by looking only at the juvenile population, delinquent crimes and the use of drugs go “hand-in-hand” (NCJRS.org, 1976). Despite this being a dated text, the information is still relevant. Additionally, there is strong evidence that even the occasional use of Marijuana among
Substance abuse and addiction have become a social problem that afflicts millions of individuals and disrupts the lives of their families and friends. Just one example reveals the extent of the problem: in the United States each year, more women and men die of smoking related lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined (Kola & Kruszynski, 2010). In addition to the personal impact of so much illness and early death, there are dire social costs: huge expenses for medical and social services; millions of hours lost in the workplace; elevated rates of crime associated with illicit drugs; and scores of children who are damaged by their parents’ substance abuse behavior (Lee, 2010). This paper will look at
Drugs can also affect someone’s likelihood to commit crime because of the effects it has on the person while they are under the influence. Drug use can affect an individual’s speed, memory, alertness and reactions. Crimes related to drugs or alcohol may be the result of the effects that the substances have on their thought processes and behaviour which causes them to commit criminal activity.
The article The Drugs/Violence Nexus: A Tripartite Conceptual Framework by Paul J Goldstein brings up many great points about how illegal drugs can cause violence and crime. When talking about the psycho-pharmacological model the author suggest that violent or criminal behavior is seen more when a user is going through with drawls from a drug instead of being violent when on the drug (Goldstein, p. 3). Many long term users when without their drug of choice get violently
the 1930s when films like Reefer Madness (1938) and The Man with the Golden Arm
Many scientific studies conducted over the past two decades have provided evidence which support that drug use is one the factors that explain why some people commit criminal acts. The existing relationship between drugs and crime appeared on the effects that they have on the user’s behavior and by generating violence and other illegal activity in connection with drug trafficking. Therefore, crime and drug appear to be in a covariance relationship and
The use of illegal substances is a serious problem in the United States today and there are several drugs of choice among drug addicts and in this article we will discuss 3 of the most commonly used drugs and list their effects on the user.
A drug is a chemical substance applied into treating, diagnosing and preventing one from disease infections or a substance that is used by a person to enhance his or her physical and mental state in the perceived effect. Drugs used for different purposes and their effect depend on which cause for usage. It causes both positive and negative consequences directly to the user and in the long-run it affects the whole society or community. Drug addiction is the activity of uncontrollable dependence on a substance by the user no matter the harm caused by its usage. It is a habit that has been in many years hard to curb especially among the youths. “We must recognize that substance abuse and addiction is a disease, not a moral failing or easily abandoned self-indulgence,” (Califano, 2008).The cases of drug abuse have been on the rise over the recent years and resulted in crimes. The cases have a great effect affected the society in general since the reliable energetic youths have turned to drug abuse. However, some measures have been initiated to mitigate, curb and treat drug addiction in the society as outlined in the essay.
The chief cause of fatal hit and run accidents, suicide attempts, murder, sexual assaults and random madness has been implicated to be the resultant effect of drug and substance abuse; for instance marijuana. This study based on scientific research and practical evidence aims at proving this notion and bringing out a clear connection of the two. In establishment of the correlation, two hypotheses have been raised: the pharmacological hypothesis which suggests crime to be a product of intoxicating paraphernalia of substances and the economic-impulsive that states substances to be the primary cause of psychological dependence.