Drugs and Crime

The connection between drugs and crime is reflected in at least three types of crimes:

  • Drug-defined crimes, such as the possession, use,or sale of controlled substances, which violates drug laws.
  • Crimes committed by drug users to get money to buy more drugs or crimes committed by persons under the influence of drugs.
  • Organized criminal activities, such as money laundering and political corruption, in support of the drug trade.

Crime is associated with drug use, but drugs usually don’t cause crime. First, only a small percentage of burglaries and robberies are drug related. Second, studies of high-rate offenders show that many of them began their criminal careers before using drugs. Most experts agree that even if we could succeed in eliminating drug abuse, there would be only a small reduction in robberies, burglaries, and similar crimes.

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