Forensic Psychology

Causes of Antisocial Traits

What is the relationship between addiction and criminality?

Drug addiction is strongly correlated with impulsivity and many people with antisocial traits also abuse illicit substances. Unfortunately, drug abuse and addiction also promote antisocial behavior. For one, drug addiction can destroy an addicted individual’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. 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 many decades.


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