Illegal drug use and crime a complex relationship graph

illegal drug use and crime a complex relationship graph

Illicit drug use is “almost automatically” associated with criminal behavior, according to. Serge Brochu, an . Illegal Drug Use And Crime: A Complex Relationship. prepared for were the family members primarily reported ( Figure SKN8). illicit drug use and also to make up a large share of total crime. However, when measuring criminal activity it is extremely difficult to disentangle crime which is directly . research on the effects of cannabis on the brain does not suggest a link to spans this figure, but the wide range of results prevents any firm conclusion. Illegal drug use is “almost automatically” associated with criminal behaviour. The statistical relationship between illegal drug use and crime is convincing at first.

We consider whether these relationships differ according to gender and offence type. Methods The study provides an analysis of historical offending records in adults linked to test results for opiate and cocaine metabolites.

Those testing positive for opiates were linked to treatment records to retrieve data on age of opiate initiation. Rate ratios RR were calculated to compare opiate positive testers to opiate and cocaine negative controls, separately by gender and adjusting for age and birth cohort.

Age of opiate initiation was included in a second model as a time-dependent variable. Within-subject clustering was accounted for using generalised estimating equations. Results Opiate-positive cases had higher rates of offending than test-negative controls, both prior to, and post, opiate initiation.

The RR increase in non-serious acquisitive crime was greater than that seen in serious crime. For males only, opiate initiation narrowed the difference in violent offending rate between cases and controls. A larger offending increase was associated with opiate initiation in female, compared to male, users. Conclusions For most crime categories, the difference between groups is exacerbated by opiate initiation.

Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine

The findings indicate that opiate prevention initiatives might be effective in reducing offending, particularly among females. Offending, Opiate use, Life-course offending 1. Introduction Those dependent on heroin, and other opiates, are disproportionately involved in criminal activity Bennett et al. The drugs-crime association is an important driver of UK policy, reflected in its prominence in the drug strategies of successive governments HM Government,Home Office, Explanations of this association fall into three groups: Forward causation — drug use causes crime either through the need to: Reverse causation — involvement with crime leads to drug use: Confounding — crime and drug use share a common set of cause s: The underlying causal mechanism s is likely to be more complex than these explanations suggest Bennett and Holloway,Seddon, Our previous work has highlighted the need for longitudinal studies with a non-drug user comparison group to examine the natural history of drug use and offending Hayhurst et al.

Current evidence about the development of drug use and offending is constrained by design flaws in published studies, particularly the absence of suitable control groups.

Our recent review of the evidence base on pathways through opiate use and offending Hayhurst et al.

Illegal Drug Use and Crime: A Complex Relationship

Amphetamines The main property of amphetamines is that, like cocaine, they stimulate the central nervous system. Amphetamine abuse can thus cause paranoia, irritability, anxiety and even toxic psychosis.

Legal and Illegal Drugs in Canada, Toronto: Key Porter Books, However, evidence supporting this model is limited. The few empirical elements are drawn from research which presents numerous methodological problems and does not really help to understand the specific effects of certain drugs. The following paragraphs present research findings which show that many criminal acts, some of them violent, are committed in Canada each year under the influence of a drug.

There was a rather clear distinction between acquisitory crimes and violent crimes in the prevalence of use of drugs and alcohol. While homicides and, more pronouncedly, assaults and wounding were predominantly alcohol-related, crimes such as thefts and break and enter showed a higher prevalence of drug use on the day of the crime.

illegal drug use and crime a complex relationship graph

The study, which dealt specifically with illegal drug use and crime, produced the following main findings: In other words, nothing in these findings clearly demonstrates that the criminal act would not have been committed if the individual had not been under the influence of drugs.

Moreover, the findings based on the link that the offender sees between his or her drug use and his or her crimes should be significantly clarified. In the view of various researchers, [47] some inmates prefer to associate their criminal behaviour with their drug use. This enables them to attribute responsibility for their actions to an outside cause, i. Although for many inmates this association is indisputable, research has shown that some individuals use it as an excuse for their behaviour and to unburden themselves of part of the weight of the offence.

According to the survey results, three-quarters of respondents admitted that drinking could serve as a pretext for using violence. This deficiency forces a recognition of the fact that the reasons for violence and criminal activity go beyond the properties of the drugs themselves. Although many studies indicate that some people used illegal drugs the day they committed their crime, there is little empirical evidence in the scientific literature to establish a direct link between crime, violence and the psychopharmacological effects of drugs.

Substance abuse and criminal activity Before moving on to crime and violence caused by the illegal drug market, this section examines another aspect that may explain the link between drug use and crime, i. More specifically, according to this explanatory model of the drug-crime relationship, the compelling and recurrent need for drugs and their high price lead some users to commit crimes to obtain the money they need to buy drugs.

This model focuses on individuals who have developed a dependence on expensive drugs and assumes that the large amounts of money associated with frequent use of certain illegal drugs constitute an incentive for criminal action. This explanation of the relationship between drugs and crime is well supported in the literature and the media.

The state of gun violence in the US, explained in 18 charts

Many people attribute a great percentage of crime to this economic-compulsive link. The offenders themselves promote this association by swearing to anyone who will listen that the single cause of their involvement in crime is their heavy [drug] use. For many, this statement is indisputable. For others, some doubt persists because, in some instances, there is a clear benefit to be gained in accepting the label of addict: Some Canadian and foreign studies have shown that the rate of use of illegal drugs is much higher among people who have been in contact with the criminal justice system than among the general population.

According to one study conducted by Forget in[59] more than one-third of the individuals interviewed at the Montreal Detention Centre said that they had committed their crimes for the purpose of buying drugs. Similarly, the study by Brochu et al. That was the case for inmates who had committed the following crimes: The study also appears to confirm a strong link between the use of expensive drugs and the commission of criminal acts.

As discussed above, some offenders consciously or not use this strategy to justify their behaviour and reject responsibility for their actions.

Regular use of illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine is expensive. The amount spent by addicts on drugs varies from report to report. However, researchers agree that drug addicts have three main sources of income: Systems thinking and system dynamics bring a new perspective and opportunity for active engagement and trans-disciplinary thinking with those who have stake in the outcome to govern the course of change. This is done in order to consider connections of different components and plan for the implications of their interaction [ 15 — 17 ].

A common theme within systems is their dynamic nature, whether equilibriums, cycles, or chaotic behaviour occurs. Dynamic change is always present within systems. This phenomenon in systems causes agents to constantly adapt within the system, forming a self-organizing system that is sensitive to preexisting conditions and governed by both the actions and reactions of the system actors [ 31516 ].

Holder [ 14 ] recommended health research to use systems principles and orientation, when approaching health hazards such as substance abuse as a system of structured relationships with diverse methodologies. Systems research creates the opportunity to critically explore what hinders or accelerates adoption of evidence based strategies and promote their implementation [ 18 ]. System dynamics assist in understanding how these systems are organized and sustained and discover the possible ways in which they can be improved within their democratic and dynamic environments.

In summary, dynamic systems consist of a trans-disciplinary integration that aims to reconcile linear and nonlinear, qualitative and quantitative, reductionist, and holistic thinking and methods into union [ 14 ]. Systems thinking reflects both the functional and conceptual areas of substance abuse, as well as the burden it has on its environment, namely, drug-related crime.

Relationships within the system are depicted by stocks that are increased and decreased by flows, and the flows are governed by converters and connectors. A stock accumulates over time and is altered through flows increased by an inflow and decreased by an outflow. Thus, a stock is the representation of the net flow at a specific point in time. Stocks and flows are, mathematically speaking, differential and integral equations.

illegal drug use and crime a complex relationship graph

The flow between the many interrelated parts in the system is governed by feedback loops. There are two types of feedback loop: Balancing loops assist the system in reestablishing standard conditions, unlike the reinforcing loops that lead to the growth of a trend.

The interplay of these different loops leads to steady states, where the emergent whole at the end result is known as a finite one. Model and Its Boundaries This model is based on the premised idea that a community is an interacting set of systems that support or buffer the occurrence of certain dynamics, such as substance abuse and drug-related crimes.

The systemic approach to the model firstly enables us to create a system model that can capture the primary community structures and relationships stocks and flows that sustain substance abuse and drug-related crimes within the community.

Secondly, it allows us to critically test plausible strategies to reduce or counteract the problem of drug abuse. The model is derived from empirical evidence and literature since the research available concerning key stocks and flows in this model is limited and there are few published studies on the topic available, especially with regard to the Western Cape. We also make some informed assumptions based on what is currently known. In this study, the system constructed is not a single organizational entity but rather an integrated and interacting community response to substance abuse and drug-related crime, through a consideration that looks at the rehabilitation processes of both cases.

The constructed model is named the substance abuse and drug-related crime in the Western Cape SADC-WC model, for the estimation and prediction of connections between substance abuse and drug-related crime within communities in the Western Cape. The boundary of this model is the total area of the Western Cape province which constitutes one metropolitan municipality, namely, the city of Cape Town, and five district municipalities, namely, Cape Winelands, Central Karoo, Eden, Overberg, and West Coast.

The five district municipalities beset local municipalities. Within the geographical boundaries there are police precincts, precincts are classified as urban because they fall within the Cape Metropolitan area and 90 police precincts are classified as rural as they fall outside the city of Cape Town [ 2 ].