The exact role of drugs and alcohol in criminal activities in the United States may not be determined. But according to data from various government sources, this is important. Although less than half of the victims of violent crime believe that the perpetrator is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drug testing of those arrested for the crime shows that the rate of drug abuse is much higher.
Sometimes, drugs and alcohol play a role in criminal activities even if the offender was not affected when the crime was committed. Many criminals commit crimes to obtain money to obtain drugs.Adding crimes committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs, criminal crimes related to drugs, and crimes involving illegal possession of drugs, the role of alcohol and drugs in crime is extensive.
Victims’ perceptions of criminal drug and alcohol abuse
The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects data from victims of violent crimes on whether the victims believe that the offender used drugs or alcohol during the crime.The following is the percentage of offenders that victims believe were affected during the crime:
- Violent crime: 24.2%
- Rape or sexual assault: 30.0%
- Robbery: 23.3%
- Attack: 24.1%
- Serious attack: 26.2%
- Simple attack: 23.5%
Among American Indians, 62% of victims reported that the offender had consumed alcohol, compared with 42% of the general population. In violent crimes against American Indians, 48% of criminals used alcohol, 9% used drugs, and 14% used both.
Drug abuse monitoring data of arrested persons
The information collected by the National Institute of Justice through its Arrested Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM II) program tells different stories about criminal drug abuse.
ADAM II plans to collect urine samples from male arrestees at 10 locations in five counties in the United States: Atlanta, Georgia (Fulton County); Chicago, Illinois (Cook County); Denver, Colorado (Denver County); New York City, New York (Manhattan District); and Sacramento, California (Sacramento County).
The arrested were tested for marijuana, cocaine metabolites, opioids, amphetamine/methamphetamine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, buprenorphine, methadone, PCP and oxycodone. ADAM II data provides an objective measure of drug use and self-reported drug use by persons arrested and charged with crime, and provides a way to monitor criminal drug use trends.
The results of 2013 ADAM II data collection include:
- The percentage of arrests who tested positive for drugs ranged from 63% in Atlanta to 83% in Chicago and Sacramento.
- People who use multiple drugs in their system range from 12% in Atlanta to 50% in Sacramento.
- Marijuana is the most commonly used drug among arrested persons, ranging from 34% in Atlanta to 59% in Sacramento.
- The use of cocaine in all locations continued to decline significantly.
- Self-reported cocaine use has increased in New York, but has declined in other regions.
- The continuing trend of increasing use of opiates (such as heroin, morphine, synthetic opiates) is significant in all locations.
- From 2000 to 2013, the use of opiates and methamphetamine in Denver and Sacramento increased significantly.
- With the exception of New York, the supply of heroin remained stable in all locations. In New York, the difficulty of buying drugs (buy failure) rose from 77% in 2007 to only 35% in 2013.
Criminal acquisition of drugs
According to a survey conducted by BJS in 2004, an estimated 17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal prisoners reported that they had committed a crime, and then they were imprisoned for money to buy drugs.Compared with violent crimes and public order crimes, those who commit crimes to obtain drug money are more likely to commit property crimes and drug crimes (trafficking).
Among prison inmates accused of property crimes, the percentage of those arrested who reported being under the influence of drugs while committing the crime is as follows:
- Robbery: 56%
- Weapon violation: 56%
- Burglary: 55%
- Motor vehicle theft: 55%
According to official estimates, 1.5 million drivers in the United States are arrested for driving under the influence each year.This means that 1,250 people are arrested for every 100,000 drivers.
In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, drivers are legally alcohol impaired when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. A collision involving a driver with a BAC of 0.08 or higher is considered a drink-driving collision.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the fatalities in these accidents are considered fatal accidents caused by drunk driving.In the NHTSA report, the term “alcohol impaired” does not mean that the accident or death was caused by alcohol impaired, but only that the accident involved drunk driving.
The 10,847 people who died in 2017 due to drunk driving accidents included:
- 7,368 drivers with BAC 0.08 or higher
- 1,492 passengers traveling with a drunk driver
- 1,583 passengers in other vehicles
- 1,181 non-residents (pedestrians, etc.)
There is a death every 48 minutes
The following are the main findings from the 2017 NHTSA Drink and Driving Report released in November 2018:
- In 2017, an average of 1 drunk driving death occurred every 48 minutes.
- Among all traffic accident deaths among children 14 years of age and younger, alcohol-related traffic accidents accounted for 19%.
- Compared with passenger cars (21%), light trucks (20%) and large trucks (3%), motorcycle riders (27%) have the highest risk of drunk collisions due to drunk driving.
- The incidence of fatal accidents caused by alcoholism at night is almost four times as high.
- Of the 9,967 alcohol-related fatalities in 2017, 68% involved drivers with a BAC of 0.15 or higher.
Very good sentence
Studies have shown that there is a significant relationship between violent crime and substance use.Both drugs and alcohol are related to violence and crime, but the risks are greatest when substances and alcohol are used at the same time.
Although alcohol and substance use are associated with criminal offenders, it is also important to recognize that drug and alcohol use also increases people’s risk of becoming victims of crime. A better understanding of drug and crime statistics can help guide research, law enforcement, treatment, and policy to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups.