The hand-and-glove relationship of crime and drugs can be observed in criminal justice statistics across the nation. For example, in a 1997 survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it was estimated that seventy percent of state and fifty-seven percent of federal prisons used drugs regularly before incarceration. The problem is similar among juvenile delinquents–approximately half of teens arrested test positive for drugs.
This article will explore the intricate connection between drug use and elevated crime. If rigorous attention were put on the illicit drug epidemic across the nation, what would that mean for our criminal population?
The Crime-Drug Relationship
Drug abuse is involved in crime in three major ways:
• Direct offenses from drug possession or sales
• Crime committed to fuel drug use (such as stealing money to get drugs)
• Offenses related to a drug lifestyle, such as associating with criminals for their supply.
Someone who is addicted to drugs will go to desperate measures to get his next fix. The most innocuous individual may find himself stealing, turning to prostitution, or even murdering to fund his habit.
In 2007, illicit drug use cost a total of $193 billion. The cost of drug-related crime was approximately $61 million and broke down as follows:
• Criminal justice system costs–$56,373,254
• Crime victim costs–$1,455,555
• Other crime costs–$3,547,885
In these challenging economic times, hard-working citizens should not have to bear the burden of substance abuse. Yet the cost is inevitable, as violent crime, child abuse, and property crime occurs every day. A mere decade ago, the cost of drug abuse to society was estimated at $181 billion, including such expenses as court and criminal costs, emergency room visits, lost child support, foster care, welfare, reduced productivity and unemployment. Drug-related crime continues to increase.
Treating The Problem
Successful treatment like the Narconon program has demonstrated a significant turn-around in the number of drug-related crimes. The ripples from this are far-reaching, preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, saving families and relationships, returning to people their self-respect and enabling them to go back to school and find the job of their choice. It could be said that for every dollar spent on addiction treatment, there is an approximate $4 to $7 reduction in the cost of drug-related crime.
Care must be put in the kind of treatment implemented in criminal justice settings. Many of the programs out there use replacement drugs like methadone, which is just as addictive as any other opioid. Narconon, on the other hand, provides a fully drug-free environment for withdrawal. Following detox, addicts go through a series of courses on ethics, morals and integrity, and many Narconon graduates state that it is these courses that restore their self-respect and give them hope for a new future.
For more Narconon rehab reviews on how to treat addiction and minimize crime contact us today.