There is a strong correlation between drug use and crime statistics. Different drugs cause different reactions in people, which can include violent, aggressive behavior. Keep reading to learn about the seriousness of drug-related crimes in America.

Statistics for Drug-Related Crimes

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, almost 20 percent of state and federal inmates admitted that they committed their offense in an effort to obtain money to buy drugs. For example, 10 percent of property crimes, 15 percent of violent crimes and 25 percent of drug selling crimes are committed in an attempt to get money for more drugs. Interestingly enough, the FBI reports that over 4 percent of murders are related to drugs. In addition to this, almost 30 percent of incarcerated women were on drugs when they were arrested.

Research shows that almost three-fourths of state prisoners with drug problems also have mental health problems. Therefore, there is a high percent of inmates who used drugs as a coping or self-medication technique. However, victims of crimes report that almost 30 percent of offenders were using either drugs or alcohol. In addition to this, drugs are directly related to collage crimes. For instance, over 40 percent of violent crimes against college students were committed by someone considered to be high on drugs. Even worse, approximately 20 percent of rapes and sexual assaults against college students were committed by someone that appeared to be on drugs.

The Link between Drugs and Crime

Drug-related crime statistics are high for different reasons. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), long term drug abuse causes permanent biological changes in the brain. These changes alter the criminal’s self-control, thought processing and compulsion ability. As a result, criminals are strongly motivated to maintain their drug addiction, even if they know it’s wrong and harmful. In addition to this, many criminals struggle with chronic, poverty, unemployment and unstable housing conditions. As a result, their chaotic lifestyles and uncontrollable addiction urges cause them to engage in criminal behaviors that only increase in severity as their addiction grows. Certain drugs, such as meth or crack, cause erratic, paranoid and violent thoughts and behaviors.

However, the current criminal system is designed to simply incarcerate inmates without treatment. The NIH recommends treatment as a cost-effective, proven way to treat substance abuse addictions and reduce crime levels. The NIH also recommends that every offender be screened for drug use and mental health problems. Those that are not addicted to drugs can receive drug abuse prevention. Those that are currently addicted to drugs can receive immediate drug intervention and treatment. The NIH estimates that providing treatment instead of simply incarcerating criminals will save the corrections system two to six dollars for every dollar spent on treatment.

To review, there is a disturbing connection between drug use and crime rates. Drug-related crime statistics prove that drug use leads to crime. However, the current justice system is failing to prevent and treat drug addictions. The NIH recommends that treatment is the best option for reducing drug addictions and crime statistics.

Addiction is often difficult to understand for people who have never experienced it. It is not as simple as desire or compulsion: it is a real chemical dependence of the body on a foreign substance. When the human body is exposed to enough of an addictive substance, it begins to accept it into its regular state of balance. When that happens, the craving for that substance becomes as pressing as any other basic need, like food, water, and oxygen.


Warning Signs of Chemical Dependency

crack treatment

It isn’t always easy for a person to realize that they have not only an addiction but a physical reliance on the substance they are addicted to. Chemical dependency builds alongside tolerance. Typically one will begin to need more and more of a substance to get the desired effects, which also increases the amount of exposure one is getting to it. Once the body is reliant on the substance, withdrawal symptoms will appear whenever that pattern is broken. Early withdrawal symptoms include:


  • Mood swings
  • Lack of motivation, energy, and focus
  • Sudden anxiety, agitation, or hyperactivity

As withdrawal persists, the effects become more severe. Most addicts will use again before their symptoms become more noticeable and are able to convince themselves they don’t have a real problem. However, as time goes on, their physical and emotional state relies heavily on the presence of drugs.

At the stage of reliance, it is nearly impossible not to be at least quietly aware that there is a problem. An addict will have little ability controlling how much they use and abuse, even if they want to stop. Drugs and alcohol slowly take over a person’s life once an addiction sets in, meaning one will spend very little time and energy doing anything other than using and recovering from the use of a drug. It is this stage that is most dangerous, as it is just as hard to continue to function in day to day life as it is to try to break the habit. When chemical dependence sets in, an addict’s first priority should be to break free of it.


Whenever a chemical dependency forms, an addiction is not only difficult but dangerous to try to break from alone. The detoxification process for anyone addicted to drugs or alcohol should always be overseen by qualified medical professionals to prevent sometimes fatal instances of:


  • Convulsions
  • Heart Failures
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and Vomiting

Inpatient care lessens the risk of complications during detox and provides a stable environment in which one can deal with the psychological and residual physical strains associated with addiction. One should seriously consider their options before committing to breaking their dependency.

On the street, cocaine comes in powder form or crack rocks. The powder form is ordinarily inhaled, but some users inject it. The crack form is smoked. Use of either form results in an energetic short-term euphoria. They also produce significant and dangerous short-term increases in blood pressure and heart rate.

Crack CocaineThe Downward Spiral to Addiction

On a long-term basis, either powder cocaine or crack cocaine can lead to addiction because of the changes they make to the brain’s ability to recycle a neurotransmitter called dopamine. It builds up in the brain’s transmitting system, so the abuser or addict needs more and more cocaine and dopamine to achieve the same effect they experienced in early use. In addition to dangerous increases in blood pressure and heart rate, other very serious consequences of long-term cocaine abuse or addiction include but aren’t limited to:

  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Lung damage if smoked
  • Severe tooth decay if smoked
  • Profound depression
  • Psychosis

Because of the widespread availability and use both powder cocaine and crack cocaine, extensive attention has been given to the development and implementation of cocaine addiction treatment programs. They’re on either an outpatient or inpatient basis. Addiction is very complicated. Family and social issues figure into the addiction equation along with brain changes. Many addicts also have another co-occurring disorder that must be treated at the same time as the addiction disorder. Inpatient programs have been shown to be significantly more effective in treating addiction along with any co-occurring disorder that might exist.

 Inpatient Treatment and its Benefits

Individuals with long histories of  abuse and addiction will most likely benefit more from an inpatient rather than an outpatient treatment program. An inpatient program can last from one to three months. Because these programs are residential in nature, they allow the patient to:


  • Be under supervision 24 hours a day
  • Treat a co-occurring disorder at the same time as their addiction
  • Stay away from extraneous influences and triggers
  • Develop a new image, beliefs and attitude

The Best Way to Prevent Relapse

The type of treatment program that a person enters is a pivotal decision in preventing relapse in the future. Many different treatment programs of many different duration’s are available, but the evidence has shown inpatient treatment to be significantly more effective than outpatient treatment. With an inpatient program, there are no outside influences, and any unforeseen difficulties can be dealt with on the spot. There are no misbehaving children, and there’s no undue pressure from work. There aren’t any arguments with a spouse or significant other either. The environment is 100 percent focused on recovery and rehabilitation.

With inpatient treatment, the individual can make a 180 degree transformation and walk out the door with an entirely different lifestyle. The opportunity is there, and it’s far more effective than outpatient treatment. Utilize the best option for you or somebody close to you. The stakes are very high.