Abnormal Psychology: Mental Health and Mental Illness

What Do Recent Statistics Say About Drug Use in the United States?

What is the relationship between addiction and crime?

For a number of different reasons, drug addiction does contribute to crime. For one, the addiction may destroy the person’s ability to hold a job, removing the means to pay for the drug. In this situation, drug addicts may turn to crime in order to obtain the money needed to pay for their drug. Common forms of criminal activity include robbery, drug dealing, and prostitution. Secondly, many drugs of abuse impair judgment and impulse control, which increases the likelihood of reckless and criminal acts. In fact, it has been estimated that 55 percent of car accidents and more than 50 percent of murders involve alcohol intoxication. Thirdly, most Western countries outlaw the most common drugs of abuse. Unfortunately, this fails to erase demand for the drugs (though many argue that it does decrease demand). Consequently, the market for illicit drugs goes underground and becomes the domain of criminals. Competition within the illicit drug trade has led to a tremendous amount of violence, dating back to the days of Al Capone in the 1920s.


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