Drug abuse or substance abuse refers to the systematic use of a drug (or any substance) by an individual in such a manner which may result in harm to themselves or to society in general. Drug abuse may start as a fun activity or as a response to peer pressure but if left untreated or uncontrolled, may escalate into a full-fledged debilitating condition. Penalties for drug abuse are quite stringent although it varies from state to state. In case you have been charged with drug-related offences, you must consult a criminal defense attorney right away.
Relation between Crimes and Drug Abuse
In the U.S., as in any other society, there a strong and multidimensional link between crime and drug abuse. In its most direct form, it is a criminal offense to manufacture; distribute or possess any drug that has been classified as having the potential for abuse. Such drugs typically include heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and morphine. Drug trafficking and drug production are also crimes under the drug abuse category and these are often controlled by organized gangs and powerful drug cartels.
Why Drug Abuse leads to Crime
According to a criminal defense attorney, drug addiction and crimes related to it are two of the most persistent social problems of the U.S. today. The relation between drugs and crimes is so apparent and overwhelming that it has been a topic of interest to social workers, psychologists and policy makers alike. Despite the best efforts and intentions, there has not been much reduction in drug related crimes because of various reasons.
The prime reason why drug abuse leads to crime is financial. According to seasoned criminal defense attorney who has handled hundreds of such cases, most drug addicts commit crimes in order to finance their addiction. Purchasing drugs such as heroin and cocaine is not cheap. Most prisoners convicted on drug-related charges admit that they have committed some form of crime or other in order to buy drugs.
Moreover, research shows that criminal activities of regular drug abusers vary significantly with their level of dependence. There is a spurt in such activities when the abuser faces an intense urge for the drugs followed by a lull in crime during periods of less dependency.
Kinds of Crimes Committed by Drug Offenders
Since drug related crimes fall under the category of criminal offense, a professional criminal defense attorney should be hired for handling such matters. Although the amount of money spent on drugs varies from inmates to inmates, a general pattern shows that almost 83% have committed theft and 78% have committed robbery to acquire money. Other common crimes related to drugs include fraud (almost 70%) and break and enter (approximately 68%). Prostitution is another common crime committed by many regular drug offenders when they cannot get money to buy the drugs. Critical addicts who lose all kinds of self-control when the urge is extremely strong may resort to certain violent crimes such as armed robbery or mugging.