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Drugs and Crime: Behavioral Aspects


Researchers in the drug field have maintained that narcotics addicts are responsible for tens of millions of crimes each year in the United States. In addition, an unknown and perhaps a greater level of crime is committed by cocaine, crack, and other drug users. Contemporary data and analyses tend to support such contentions. Significant in this behalf are the findings of the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program (ADAM).

The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program (formerly known as the Drug Use Forecasting program or DUF) was established by the National Institute of Justice to measure the prevalence of drug use among those arrested for serious crimes. Since 1986, the ADAM program has used urinalysis to test a sample of arrestees in selected major cities across the United States to determine recent drug use. Urine specimens are collected from arrestees anonymously and voluntarily, and tested so as to detect the use of ten different drugs, including cocaine, marijuana, PCP, methamphetamine, and heroin. What the ADAM data have consistently demonstrated is that drug use is pervasive among those coming to the attention of the criminal justice system.

In the final analysis, then, are drug users—and particularly cocaine, crack, heroin, and other narcotics users—driven to crime, driven by their enslavement to expensive drugs that can be afforded only through continuous predatory activities? Or is it that drugs drive crime, that careers in drugs intensify already existing criminal careers? Contemporary data tend to support the latter position more than any other explanation.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawDrugs and Crime: Behavioral Aspects - The Criminal Model Of Drug Abuse, The Harrison Act Of 1914, Early Research Initiatives, Contemporary Drugs And Crime Research