Examine the Potential Links Between Drugs, Alcohol and Crime in Society.

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Introduction In this essay I have been asked to examine the potential link between drugs, alcohol and crime in society. All these factors have an affect on society and in this paper I am going talk about how all these factors can link together to have an affect on society. Drugs can have an effect on society in many different ways. The negative consequences of drug abuse affect not only individuals who abuse drugs but also their families and friends, a range of businesses and government property. Drug addiction causes young people to drop out of school, and it makes parents lose interest in their children. It pushes people into lives of crime and poverty, destroys ambition and ruins lives. Drug dealing brings crime and violence to otherwise peaceful communities, and makes people feel helpless and afraid in their own home towns (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs/). The link between drug use and crime is not an original one and there are various questions to be asked when considering the drugs and crime link, the first and maybe the most confusing question is, do drugs cause crime or does criminality come first? (Hayles, 2000:78) investigates these using three methods of investigation. The first is referred to as ‘national and regional trends’ and follows relationships between ‘broad movements in drug use’ and broad movements in crime. The studies of ‘drug-using criminals’ examine drug use among samples of criminals. The third method, ‘criminal drug-users’, explores criminal behaviour among addicts and other drugs users. For more than twenty years, both the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Justice has funded numerous studies to try to better understand the relationship. One such study was done in Baltimore on heroin users. This study found high rates of criminality between users during periods of active drug use, and much lower

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